Braun: Candidate for Senior CLASS Award

  • By Laurie Bollig
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  • September 20, 2012 03:11 PM
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Football candidates announced for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award

­OVERLAND PARK, KS (September 19, 2012) – Thirty NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 2012 candidate class includes eight All-Americans from last season. Sixteen of the 30 candidates have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Four of the candidates were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America as 2011 Capital One Academic All-Americans. Twenty-four student-athletes play for teams that participated in a bowl game last season. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2012-13 bowl season.

The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. ?

For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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Football Candidates

Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
Montee Ball, Wisconsin
Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Matt Barkley, USC
Jeff Braun, West Virginia
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
Blaize Foltz, TCU
Rashard Hall, Clemson
Duron Harmon, Rutgers
Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
Travis Johnson, San Jose State
Barrett Jones, Alabama
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Collin Klein, Kansas State
A.J. Klein, Iowa State
Jeff Locke, UCLA
Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
Riley Nelson, Brigham Young
Kyle Quinn, Arizona
Sean Renfree, Duke
Adam Replogle, Indiana
Luke Ruff, Wyoming
Jason Schepler, Northern Illinois
John Simon, Ohio State
Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Matt Summers-Gavin, California
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech
Stephen Warner, Louisiana Tech
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

Laurie Bollig, Premier Sports Management
Phone: 913/563-5417


An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring. Premier Sports Management manages the award.


The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit NCAA.org and NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

Smith Earns Manning Award Player of the Week

  • By Manning Award Committee
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  • September 20, 2012 01:37 PM
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NEW ORLEANS – Geno Smith, a senior from West Virginia, has been selected as this week’s Manning Award Player of the Week. Smith earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week after earning the most votes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest this season.

Smith, a native of Miami, FL, led West Virginia to a 42-12 victory over James Madison on Saturday at FedEx Field. The senior passed for 411 yards, becoming the Mountaineers passing yardage leader. Smith now has as many incompletions as TD passes after two games, which is exactly what former Manning Award winner, Robert Griffin, III accomplished last season. There was not much Smith could have done better as he completed 34 of 39 passes on 11 receptions and threw 5 TDs with 0 interceptions. West Virginia’s 569 yards of offense proved to be too much for the Dukes to handle as the Mountaineers are now 13-0 all-time against FCS schools.

This was Smith’s first win and third nomination. He was a candidate for the week of Sept. 3rd as well as once last season. The Mountaineers are now looking to go 3-0 as they host Maryland in Morgantown, WV on Saturday.

The West Virginia fans showed their appreciation for Smith’s spectacular performance by voting him to the top of this week’s list. Behind Smith were Texas’ David Ash, this week’s Big 12 QB of the Week and Conor Halliday of Washington State, who stepped up in a reserve role once again. Ash threw for 326 yards with 4 TDs and 0 interceptions as he registered his career-high for passing yards, leading the Longhorns to score 66 points, the most allowed by Ole Miss since 1917. Halliday threw for 378 yards and four touchdown passes in a 35-27 win over UNLV, giving him 13 career TD passes in six games.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

The honor will be recognizing its eighth winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earn the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. This past season’s honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).

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