Duke OT Simmons wins Jim Tatum Award

Duke offensive tackle Perry Simmons has won the 2013 Jim Tatum Award, the ACC announced Thursday.

The Tatum Award is given annually, in memory of the late Jim Tatum, to the top senior football student-athlete (in athletic eligibility).

From the release:

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 ACC championship game against top-ranked Florida State will mark Simmons’ league-leading 50th consecutive start. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder 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 in a statement. “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.”