Senior running back Bryan Kariya has been named a candidate for the 2011 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards.
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Kariya, from Salt Lake, has a 3.9 GPA and is a Chinese major with a minor in business management. He is second on the Cougars in rushing and in last week's 24-17 victory over UCF led the team with 14 carries, 52 yards and one touchdown to go along with a pair of receptions for 11 yards. He is one of 47 FBS athletes selected as a candidate.
As a captain of the BYU football team, Kariya has been able to set an example of hard work on the field, accompanied with hard work in both the classroom and in the community. He has been a leader on BYU’s team for years. He is often the first voice heard at practice, on the field or from the sideline encouraging his teammates.
Other academic achievements include being named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America Second Team as the only FBS Division I running back on the All-America team. He was also named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District VIII First Team and is a two-time MWC Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Mountain West Conference honoree.
He has been involved with several projects in the community, including volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club and speaking to youth at church functions and schools. Kariya has been involved with “Koins For Kenya,” a program to help bring educational opportunities to those that have none. He and his wife traveled to Africa in 2005 to help with the program.
On the field, Kariya played a huge role in 2009’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma, playing for an injured Harvey Unga, and rushing for 42 yards while catching four passes for 76 yards, including a 49-yard reception. He had at least one carry in every game of 2010 and 11 games of 2009. He is currently second on the team in rushing for 2011.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
2011 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
3.60 Average GPA
27 Nominees with a 3.9 GPA or better
6 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
86 Team Captains
56 All-Conference Picks
17 Academic All-America Selections
10 All-America Selections
27 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
1 Player Formerly Named an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
33 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
11 Nominees from the Division II
30 Nominees from the Division III
6 Nominees from the NAIA
61 Offensive Players
50 Defensive Players
16 Special Teams Players