NEW ORLEANS — LSU athletes swept the Corbett Awards as the top male and female collegiate athletes in Louisiana for the second consecutive year.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson and sprinter Kimberlyn Duncan were announced as the winners for the period from July of 2010 through June of 2011 by the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday.
It’s the seventh time since 2000 that Tigers have swept both awards.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 to honor the late James J. Corbett, former athletic director at LSU, and to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl.
“It is a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to have a part in recognizing these great young athletes,” Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan said in a news release. “Looking at the accomplishments of these two, I’d like to thank the selection committee for making excellent choices.”
Peterson was a consensus first-team All-American, as well as the winner of the Bednarik Trophy as the top defensive player in college football, and the Thorpe Award, as the top defensive back in the game. The junior was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year. He was selected No. 5 overall in the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Despite quarterbacks’ reluctance to throw toward him, Peterson had four interceptions and six pass breakups. He excelled on special teams as well, leading the SEC in punt-return average (16.1, fourth in the nation) and kick-return average (29.1, ninth in the nation). His 1,484 all-purpose yards ranked fourth in the SEC and seventh in LSU single-season history. His 932 kick-return yards are a Tigers season record.
Duncan became the first Lady Tiger in 22 years to sweep the 200 at the NCAA indoor and outdoor track and field championships. She becomes the third LSU women’s track star to win the Corbett, joining Peta-Gaye Dowdie (2000) and Esther Jones (1990).
At the NCAA outdoor meet in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 11, Duncan won the 200 in 22.24 seconds — the fastest time in the world this year. It was Duncan’s eighth consecutive win in a 200-meter final during the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons.
Her work wasn’t limited to the 200 meters. Less than 40 minutes before the 200 final, Duncan anchored LSU’s winning 4 x 100-meter relay team. The previous night, Duncan finished second in the 100 meters, giving her a hand in 28 of the Lady Tigers’ 43? points at the national meet. LSU finished third behind Texas A&M and Oregon. Three months earlier, Duncan established her position on the national track scene by winning the 200 at the NCAA indoor meet in College Station, Texas.
Duncan also swept the 200 titles at the Southeastern Conference indoor and outdoor championships. She also anchored the title-winning 4 x 100 relay team at the SEC outdoor meet.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame also announced the recipients of a pair of Special Awards — a category established by the organization to recognize outstanding efforts and achievements in the sports arena in Greater New Orleans that don’t necessarily qualify for other awards. This year’s recipients are Lurlyn Fitzpatrick, who was a dedicated employee in the Tulane football offices for 41 years, and Tyler Dutruch, who overcame Type 1 diabetes to become an all-district offensive lineman at Pope John Paul II High School.
All of the 2010-11 honorees will be recognized at a banquet on July 23 at the Superdome.