COLORADO SPRING, Colo. – The BYU football program had 11 players named to the Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete award list announced Tuesday.
Running backs Bryan Kariya, Zed Mendenhall, Ryan Folsom and David Foote joined offensive linemen Ryan Freeman and Houston Reynolds, wide receiver McKay Jacobson, quarterback James Lark, defensive end Mike Muehlmann and linebackers Connell Hess and Zeke Mendenhall on the list of honorees.
BYU’s 11 selections more than doubled the two next closest schools, New Mexico and Utah, which each had five players awarded.
Kariya, a senior, headed the list of Cougars after being named an ESPN Academic All-American in 2010, the only running back from a Football Subdivision program to earn the recognition. The Kaysville, Utah, native is a Chinese major with a 3.89 GPA. Kariya was second on the team with 537 yards rushing with six touchdowns.
Freeman, a senior, and Zeke Mendenhall who finished his career last season after earning 35 tackles in 12 games, joined Kariya as repeat Scholar-Athlete selections from 2009.
A total of 581 student-athletes were honored, including 43 individuals who have achieved a 4.00 or higher cumulative grade point average over two or more terms, and 65 student-athletes who were recognized in multiple sports. This year’s mark shattered the previous league record of 549 honorees, set in 2008-09. The MW Scholar-Athlete Award is one of the highest academic honors bestowed by the Conference. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least two academic terms at the member institution, while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better, and have participated in varsity competition in an NCAA-sponsored sport.