LSU football All-American Patrick Peterson and track and field national champion Kimberlyn Duncan were honored Thursday by both the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame as this year’s recipients of the Corbett Award presented annually to the top male and female amateur athletes in the state of Louisiana.
Both Peterson and Duncan will be formally recognized in the annual banquet to be held Saturday, July 23, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
This marks the second year in a row and the seventh time since the 1999-2000 athletic campaign that LSU athletes have swept both the men’s and women’s Corbett Awards.
Recognized as one of the best college football players nationwide in 2010, Peterson was a consensus first-team All-American. He was also the winner of the Bednarik Trophy as the top defensive player in college football and the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. Peterson was also named both the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Players of the Year.
The junior from Pompano Beach, Fla., capitalized on that success by being selected No. 5 overall with the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft this past April.
Peterson received such accolades while ending the 2010 campaign with 42 tackles, four interceptions and six pass break-ups. In addition to establishing himself as the top cornerback in the nation, Peterson ranked No. 1 in the SEC in both punt-return average (16.1, No. 4 in the nation) and kick-return average (29.1, No. 9 in the nation). His 1,484 all-purpose yards ranked No. 4 in the SEC for the 2010 season and seventh in LSU history for a single-season, while his 932 kick-return yards are an LSU single-season record.
During his three-year career at LSU, Peterson was twice voted as an All-SEC and All-America performer with the Tigers. He finished his career with 135 tackles, 22 pass break-ups and seven interceptions on the defensive end of the field. He also scored touchdowns three different ways for the Tigers, including a pair of punt returns, an interception and a return of a blocked field goal.
After Peterson proved to be the best at his position during the 2010 football season, Duncan followed this spring during the 2011 track season by establishing herself as arguably the top sprinter at the college level while winning three NCAA titles and three SEC titles for the Lady Tigers.
Duncan became the first Lady Tiger in 22 years since LSU’s collegiate record holder Dawn Sowell during the 1989 season to sweep NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor titles in the 200-meter dash.
Duncan was the top point scorer among all female competitors at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she scored 20.5 points for the Lady Tigers in four days of competition at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. After anchoring the Lady Tigers to their 13th national title all-time at the 4x100-meter relay, she set a new wind-legal personal best of 22.24 seconds to claim the NCAA title in the 200-meter dash with the third-fastest time in the world for the 2011 outdoor season.
A native of Katy, Texas, Duncan nearly captured a third title during this year’s NCAA outdoor meet, with her runner-up finish in the 100-meter dash as she clocked a personal-best time of 11.09 in the final.
In addition to her success at the NCAA Championships, Duncan swept SEC Indoor and Outdoor titles for the 200-meter dash, while also anchoring the Lady Tigers to a conference title in the 4x100-meter relay at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in Athens, Ga.
With her performance, Duncan helped the Lady Tigers sweep SEC Indoor and SEC Outdoor team titles in 2011 while also finishing in third place in the team standings at both NCAA Championships.
Duncan becomes the third LSU women’s track star to win the Corbett Award as she joins the great Esther Jones in 1990 and Peta-Gaye Dowdie in 2000 as recipients of the award.
The Corbett Awards are presented to the top male and female amateur athletes in Louisiana each year and this year’s honors are based on achievements from July 2010 to June 2011.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 to honor the late James J. Corbett and to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics, and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. Since its inception, the award winners have gone on to great success at the professional level, including 14 NFL stars, four NBA players and two Hall of Famers, seven Major League Baseball players, three WNBA players and eight Olympians with a total of seven Olympic gold medalists.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Selection Committee, which is formed by local media members, honors athletes in a range of categories. The committee has been sponsored by the Sugar Bowl since 1970 and will announced its 2011 inductees for the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame and the winner of this year’s Eddie Robinson Award.