NEW YORK (CBS4) – Former South Florida high school star football Patrick Peterson, who is now playing for the LSU Tigers, was named the college defensive player of the year Thursday night.

Peterson, who is expected to be a top draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, has recorded 36 tackles and intercepted 4 passes in 2010. He’s also been one of the most dangerous kick returners in college football.

For the season, Peterson ran back 29 kicks for 851 yards, averaging out to 29.4 yards per kick return. He also ran back 37 punts for 418 yards and two touchdowns.

Peterson’s haul Thursday night included the Bednarik Award for the defensive player of the year and the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation’s best defensive back.

Auburn’s Cam Newton won the Maxwell Award and the O’Brien Award and is the likely 2010 Heisman Trophy winner. Oregon’s LaMichael James won the Doak Walker Award and Texas A&M’s Von Miller won the Butkus Award.

The only player from a Florida to win an award was University of Florida punter Chas Henry, who won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter.


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