Duke’s Helton Named Winner Of Jim Tatum Award


Offensive lineman excels in classroom, on field for bowl-bound Blue Devils

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com)– Duke senior linebacker David Helton has been named the recipient of the 2014 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 2014 Tatum Award will be presented at the ACC’s Night of Legends event, which will be held Friday (5:30 p.m.) at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of the festivities held around the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.

Helton, a Psychology major who holds a 3.64 career grade point average, is one of 17 recipients of the prestigious 2014 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards and a finalist for the NFF’s Campbell Trophy as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation. Helton was also named a Lott IMPACT Trophy finalist on Wednesday.

“David epitomizes the true student-athlete, and we couldn’t be prouder of him as the recipient of the 2014 Tatum Award,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said.  “His core values, instilled in him by his incredible parents, are what make him as fine a young man as we’ve had in our program.  This is a tremendous honor for David and his family.”

The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native was named to the All-ACC Football Academic Team each of his first three seasons (with this year’s selections still pending) and is also a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. He earned first-team Capital One Academic All-District III accolades in both 2013 and 2014, and is among 10 national semifinalists for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior played a key role in Duke posting a 9-3 overall record and is a major reason the Blue Devils are headed to a bowl game for a school-record third straight season. An All-ACC first-team selection, Helton leads the ACC in tackles with 10.4 per game and keys a Duke defensive unit that ranks fifth in the conference is scoring defense (20.6 points per game).

Helton is the third consecutive Duke student-athlete to receive the Tatum Award after Blue Devil quarterback Sean Renfree was honored in 2012 and offensive lineman Perry Simmons was recognized last year.


ACC Jim Tatum Award Winners
1979                                                Scott Hamilton, Duke, G
1980-81                                          No Award
1982                                                Pat Chester, Virginia, S
                                                       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
                                                       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
                                                       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
2014                                                David Helton, Duke, LB