UM Peria Jerry

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

Ole Miss defensive tackle Peria Jerry (right) knocks a South Carolina offensive lineman out of the way n route to the quarterback. Jerry was recently named to the All-American first team by the Associated Press. The Panolian photo by Andy Young

Ole Miss’ Jerry, Oher chosen first team All-America by AP

OXFORD – Ole Miss’ Peria Jerry, of Batesville, and Michael Oher were both honored as First Team All-Americans today, as the Associated Press released its college football All-America teams. It marks the first year in school history to have two Rebels selected to the AP first team.

In addition, Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt was named one of eight finalists for the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Football Coach of the Year award, as announced by the Bryant Awards committee of the American Heart Association. The winner will be voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA) and named live at an awards dinner benefiting the American Heart Association on Jan. 15, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston.

Other finalists include Mack Brown, Texas; Turner Gill, Buffalo; Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Chris Petersen, Boise State; Nick Saban, Alabama; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma and Kyle Whittingham, Utah.

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Nutt, who was honored as SEC Coach of the Year by the AP last week, was also recently chosen as the AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year. This marks the fifth time in Nutt’s career to earn region top coaching honors from the American Football Coaches Association.

Jerry, a senior defensive tackle, picks up First Team All-America distinction for the first time in his career. The local native had been chosen to the Rivals second team earlier this month. Jerry was a four-time SEC Player of the Week honoree this year and tops the conference in tackles for loss.

Oher has been a consensus First Team All-American offensive tackle this postseason. Led by the senior from Memphis, the Ole Miss line ranks fourth in the SEC in fewest sacks and has helped the Rebels’ rushing offense pile up the third-most yards on the ground.