Football Candidates Announced for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award

October 12, 2016

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (October 12, 2016) – Thirty NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected today as candidates for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate football along with the Senior CLASS Award’s first-ever honorary nominee. 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. 

Of the 30 candidates, 18 have grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher with seven of those holding above a 3.5. Five are returning All-Americans, and 22 were all-conference selections in 2016. Outside of academics and athletics, all candidates have been consistently involved in community service on their campus or in their communities.

This year, the Senior CLASS Award also will honor deceased Nebraska student-athlete Sam Foltz by making him an honorary candidate. The 2015 Big Ten Punter of the Year and a preseason candidate for the Ray Guy Award, Foltz was killed in an automobile accident on July 23, 2016, after attending a kicking camp in Wisconsin. A standout on the field as well as in the classroom and community, Foltz was a five-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, a member of both the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship teams, and earlier this year was awarded a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award, which recognizes exceptional leadership, consistent and dedicated community service and positive influence on the team.

To determine the final Senior CLASS Award winner, the 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 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 exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. Along with the winner, the 10 finalists will be awarded Senior CLASS Award first- or second-team honors.

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January. For more information on the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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Football 2016 Candidates

Name Position School
Zach Banner Offensive Tackle University of Southern California
Adam Bisnowaty Right Tackle University of Pittsburgh
Matt Breida Running Back Georgia Southern
Richie Brown Linebacker Mississippi State University
Roman Buchanan Linebacker University of South Alabama
Joe Burger Linebacker Ohio State University
Jake Butt Tight End University of Michigan
Mike Caprara Linebacker University of Pittsburgh
Nick Cuthbert Linebacker Kent State
DeVon Edwards Safety/ Kickoff Returner Duke University
Jake Elliott Place Kicker Memphis
Evan Engram Tight End Ole Miss
Jordan Evans Linebacker University of Oklahoma
Dane Evans Quarterback The University of Tulsa
Sam Foltz Punter University of Nebraska
Skyler Howard Quarterback West Virginia University
O.J. Howard Tight End The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Ryan Janvion Safety Wake Forest
Zay Jones Wide Receiver East Carolina University
Chad Kelly Quarterback Ole Miss
KeVonn Mabon Wide Receiver Ball State University
Viliami “Laiu” Moeakiola Linebacker/ Defensive Back Arizona State University
Tyler Orlosky Center West Virginia University
Mitchell Paige Wide Receiver/ Kickoff Returner Indiana
Josiah Price Tight End Michigan State
Travis Seefeldt Nose Guard Utah State University
Fish Smithson Safety University of Kansas
Weston Steelhammer Defensive Back Air Force
Justin Vogel Punter University of Miami
Greg Ward Jr Quarterback Houston
Tre’Davious White Defensive Back LSU