J.Pike's Ballot: The Deion

Despite the fact that there were several deserving candidates, Eric Berry was an easy selection for me. Berry basically defines what this award is about. Not only did he pick off seven passes and knock down another six, he returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns and made several tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He was pretty much the biggest threat to score on the Tennessee roster in 2008. That might not say a lot about Tennessee's offense, but it sounds downright Deion-esque.

In any other year, Wake's Alphonso Smith would run away with this award. The senior finished his career with 20 interceptions and made his living around the ball. Rashad Johnson was also a standout on one of the best defenses in the land. But both take a back seat to Berry's talent and production.

Eric Berry
(Sophomore Safety, Tennessee)

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