Duke senior quarterback Sean Renfree has been named the recipient of the 2012 Jim Tatum Award, the league announced on Thursday, and Miami defensive end Shayon Green was named the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award co-winner, along with Florida State running back Chris Thompson.
A few highlights from the release on Renfree:
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.
A three-year starter and two-year team captain, Renfree has led Duke to a 6-6 record this season and bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native also has received recognition for his off-field accomplishments this season by being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of the Pop Warner National College Football Award. In addition, he was named to the AFCA’s Good Works Team and is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
Renfree graduated from Duke in December of 2011 with a degree in public policy with a 3.4 grade point average and is now working on a graduate degree in humanities with a 3.8 GPA. He was named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2010 and 2011.
More on the Piccolo Award, from the ACC:
The Piccolo Award has been given annually since 1972 in memory of the late Brian Piccolo to the “most courageous” football player in the ACC. Piccolo was the 1965 ACC Athlete of the Year and played for the Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was stricken with cancer. His courageous fight against that disease was an inspiration to the Bears and the entire football community.
Green had to overcome four different major injuries. He twice tore the ACL in his right knee, once tore the meniscus in his right knee and also suffered a wrist dislocation forcing him to miss all or a major part of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. Finally healthy, Green led the Hurricanes in tackles and was one of the key leaders on the young Miami defense, with 38 of his 67 tackles unassisted. Green also added 2.0 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. He is the first Miami defensive lineman to lead the Hurricanes in tackles for a season in more than 30 years.
“Shayon is an amazing individual with an unparalleled work ethic,” Miami head coach Al Golden said. “I cannot think of anyone who exemplifies the ideals of Brian Piccolo or is more deserving of this award than him. He has overcome a dislocated wrist and three separate knee surgeries to become our leading tackler and team captain. His commitment and perseverance is an inspiration to us all.”
Thompson suffered a fractured back against Wake Forest in the Seminoles' fourth game of the season in 2011, suffering compression fractures to his 5th and 6th thoracic vertebrae. The injury required Thompson to be in a spine immobilizing brace for three months. After extensive rehabilitation, he came back to be Florida State's leading rusher with 687 yards on 91 carries, a sparkling 7.5 yards-per-carry average, including touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards. Unfortunately, Thompson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Florida State's 8th game of the year against Miami. At the time of his injury he was the 2nd-leading rusher in the ACC and still ranks 3rd. He topped the 100-yard mark in rushing three times in eight games including an 197-yard day against Wake Forest and added 21 receptions for 248 yards. Despite missing the final three games of the season, he was voted second-team All-ACC by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
"There's not a more deserving young man to win the Brian Piccolo Award because he exhibits all the qualities that you hear associated with Brian Piccolo," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "He is an outstanding young man with a strong Christian faith. He is a great player and has endured so much the last two years. Suffering the broken back and then having the determination to comeback from that and suffer the knee injury this year, he's been through a great deal. What he represents as a person, as a student, as a college athlete and his importance to our team is unbelievable. He is one of the most special guys I have ever had the privilege of coaching."