Nebraska Places 48 Student-Athletes on Academic All-Big Ten Team|
A total of 48 Nebraska student-athletes were recognized on Thursday as Academic All-Big Ten recipients. The list of honored Nebraska student-athletes includes 28 football players, 10 women's soccer student-athletes, seven volleyball players and three members of the Huskers' cross country teams.
To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Among the total group of 816 student-athletes honored by the Big Ten Conference, at least 18 of those student-athletes have maintained unblemished cumulative grade-point averages. Nebraska boasts two of those student-athletes in Sean Fisher (Sr., Football, Pre-Medicine/Business Administration) and Amy Swearer (Jr., Soccer, Criminology & Criminal Justice). Fisher was one of five football student-athletes with a perfect GPA, and Swearer one of two women's soccer student-athletes in that elite group.
Fisher leads a group of 28 members of Coach Bo Pelini's football team who received Academic All-Big Ten honors. Among that group, 13 football student-athletes have received multiple academic all-conference recognition between the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.
Senior tight end Ben Cotton and senior safety Justin Blatchford each earned academic all-conference honors for the fourth consecutive year. Cotton was a first-team All-Big 12 choice in both 2009 and 2010, before earning Academic All-Big Ten honors the past two years. Blatchford has been an academic All-Big Ten pick the past two years, was a second-team All-Big 12 honoree in 2010 and a first-team Academic All-Big 12 pick in 2009.
Football players who earned academic all-conference honors for the third time included Fisher, senior running back Rex Burkhead and senior linebacker Will Compton. Student-athletes earning Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second time included sophomore wide receiver Tyler Evans, junior tight end Jake Long, junior offensive guard Spencer Long, junior offensive tackle Brent Qvale, junior defensive back Wil Richards, sophomore linebacker Trevor Roach, senior defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler and junior fullback C.J. Zimmerer.
Swearer led the way for Head Coach John Walker's soccer squad, as the Lincoln native produced a 4.0 GPA for the second straight year. The other nine honorees included, Samantha Areman, Bri Badje, Stacy Bartels, Jourden Casey, Hannah Dittmar, Kylie Greischar, Maritza Hayes, Jordan Jackson and Emma Stevens.
Success in the classroom has always been a part of the soccer program, as the team produced 119 Academic All-Big 12 honors while members of the Big 12 Conference from 1996-2010. During its two years as members of the Big Ten Conference, the soccer program has produced 22 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.
John Cook's Nebraska volleyball program had seven student-athletes honored on the Academic All-Big Ten team. Seniors Lauren Cook and Gina Mancuso as well as juniors Morgan Broekhuis and Haley Thramer all earned academic all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. First-time Academic All-Big Ten honorees included seniors Allison McNeal and Hannah Werth, along with redshirt freshman Cecilia Hall.
Three members of the Nebraska cross country team were also selected to the Academic All-Big Ten team.Junior Isabel Andrade was NU’s lone honoree on the women’s side, as she earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season. A team captain in 2011, the Petaluma, Calif., native was the squad’s top finisher at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
The Husker men were represented by juniors Jarren Heng and Anthony Pittman. Heng also earned the conference honor for the second straight year, while Pittman was named to the all-academic team for the first time in his career.
The conference office also awards Academic All-Big Ten distinction in the winter and spring seasons and will present the Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letterwinners in at least their second year in residence at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference’s Academic All-Big Ten program.