Ten Cougars Earn MWC Scholar-Athlete Award

Matt Bauman was one of ten Cougars named MWC Scholar-Athletes on Wednesday (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU football team had 10 players named Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athletes, the most of any football team in the conference, as announced by the MWC on Wednesday.

Awardees include graduated senior Matt Bauman, a two-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American and four-time Academic All-MWC honoree. Bauman was also a recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship based on his academic and athletic accomplishments at BYU. He was one of 16 student athletes named a 2009 National Scholar Athlete by the National Football Foundation and was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman). A team captain as a senior, the four-year letterman started 29 games and totaled 234 tackles during his BYU career.

Also named Academic All-MWC was Scott Johnson, an ESPN Academic All-American and two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. In his senior year, Johnson was a team captain and third on the team with 71 tackles, including 47 solo.

Senior kicker Mitch Payne, the MWC all-time leader in career PATs, was named a conference Scholar-Athlete for the first time in his career. Senior defensive back Zeke Mendenhall, junior offensive lineman Ryan Freeman, junior running back Bryan Kariya and junior quarterback Riley Nelson joined Payne as returning players given the award.

Other players who have gone on from their playing days at BYU who were honored include Grant Nelson, who scored the highest GPA at 3.97 in economics, and Jeff Bell and Coleby Clawson, both in exercise science.


BYU Football MWC Scholar-Athletes

Bauman, Matt Senior 3.89 Finance

Bell, Jeff Senior 3.70 Exercise Science

Clawson, Coleby Senior 3.73 Exercise Science

Freeman, Ryan Junior 3.53 Psychology

Johnson, Scott Senior 3.80 Exercise Science

Kariya, Bryan Senior 3.87 Chinese

Mendenhall, Zeke Senior 3.64 Exercise and Wellness

Nelson, Riley Junior 3.55 Undeclared

Nelson, Grant Senior 3.97 Economics

Payne, Mitchell Senior 3.53 Public Administration