Duke’s Simmons Named Winner Of Jim Tatum Award


Offensive lineman excels in classroom, on field for Coastal Division champions

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke senior offensive tackle Perry Simmons has been named the recipient of the 2013 Jim Tatum Award, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.

The Tatum Award is given annually in memory of the late Jim Tatum to the top senior student-athlete (in athletic eligibility) among the league's football players. Tatum, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, coached in the 1950s at both Maryland and North Carolina and believed strongly in the concept of the student-athlete

The 2013 Tatum Award will be presented at the ACC’s Night of Legends event, which will be held Friday (6 p.m.) at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of the festivities held around the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.

Simmons, who holds a 3.83 grade point average while majoring in Civil Engineering with a certificate in Architectural Engineering, is one of 16 recipients of the prestigious 2013 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards. Earlier on Thursday, it was announced that Simmons has been named a first-team selection  to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I football team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The Raleigh, N.C., native was a 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® second-team selection, has earned three All-ACC Academic Football Team honors and four ACC Academic Honor Roll citations.

Saturday night’s ACC Championship Game against top-ranked Florida State will mark Simmons’ league-leading 50th consecutive start.  The 6-foot-5, 300-pound played a key role in the Blue Devils’ 10-2 overall record and march to the ACC Coastal Division title. Simmons’ blocking helped pave the way for a Duke offense that ranks fifth in the ACC with 33.7 points per game, sixth with 422.2 yards per game and is tied for third in the conference with just 14 sacks allowed. He earned third-team All-ACC honors from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA), and was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week following Duke’s win over Navy on Oct. 12.

Simmons is the second consecutive Duke student-athlete to receive the Tatum Award after Blue Devil quarterback Sean Renfree was honored in 2012.

“Without question, Perry Simmons is most deserving of the prestigious Jim Tatum Award,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “To reach the achievements he has both scholastically and athletically, you have to have a plan.  Everybody has goals, but Perry has always had a plan.  Academic All-American … National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete … Tatum Award recipient … all while starting every game at right tackle during his career and playing at an All-ACC and All-American level.  Congratulations to Perry – the plan has been successful.”

ACC Jim Tatum Award Winners

1979: Scott Hamilton, Duke, G
1980-81: No Award
1982: Pat Chester, Virginia, S
1982: Phil Denfield, Wake Forest, TE
1983-84: Not Available
1985: Kevin Anthony, North Carolina, QB
1986: David Cardenas, Virginia, DB
1987-89: Not Available
1990: Charlie Cobb, NC State, C
1991: Steve Ainsworth, Wake Forest, OL
1992: Not Available
1993: Thomas Burns, Virginia, LB
1994: Ed Glenn, Clemson, TE
1995: Russell Babb, North Carolina, OT
1996: Daryl Bush, Florida State, DB
1997: Stephen Phelan, Virginia, DB
1997: Jonathan Claiborne, Maryland, S
1998: Ebenezer Ekuban, North Carolina, DE
1999: Noel LaMontagne, Virginia, G
2000: Louis Marchetti, North Carolina, OT
2001: Kyle Young, Clemson, C
2002: Jeremy Muyres, Georgia Tech, DB
2003: Chris Douglas, Duke, RB
2004: Nick Novak, Maryland, PK
2005: Brendan Dewan, Duke, LB
2005: David Castillo, Florida State, C
2006: Josh Wilson, Maryland, DB
2007: Tom Santi, Virginia, TE
2008: Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech, DT
2009: Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, QB
2010: Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB
2011: Danny Coale, Virginia Tech, WR-P
2012: Sean Renfree, Duke, QB
2013: Perry Simmons, Duke, OT