23 Huskers Earn Academic All Conference

Nebraska placed 23 football players on the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Football Team, the league office announced Thursday. The 23 honorees for Nebraska led all conference schools and included 13 first-team selections, with another 10 student-athletes earning second-team honors.


The group of first-team selections includes 11 active members of the 2010 football team. Among those honorees, three players earned academic all-conference honors for the third time, including senior linebacker Thomas Grove, senior place-kicker Adi Kunalic and junior tight end Ryan Hill.


Two-time selections include junior safety Austin Cassidy, sophomore tight end Ben Cotton, senior quarterback Zac Lee, junior fullback Tyler Legate and junior tight end Jay Martin. Sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Brent Qvale were first-time honorees. Past members of the team who were honored included offensive lineman Cruz Barrett and linebacker Blake Lawrence, who carried a 4.0 grade-point average the previous year.


Among second-team honorees, Lance Thorell is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 pick, while defensive backs Justin Blatchford and Eric Hagg were honored for a second time.

Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the football academic all-league squad consisted of 100 first team members combined with 70 on the second team.  First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

Nebraska Honorees

First Team

Cruz Barrett, Nebraska, Sr., Sociology, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska, So.,  Pre-Social Science, Plano, Texas
Austin Cassidy, Nebraska,  Jr., Psychology, Lincoln, Neb.
Ben Cotton, Nebraska, So., Business Administration, Ames, Iowa
Tyrone Fahie, Nebraska, Sr., Management Information Systems, Virginia Beach, Va.
Thomas Grove, Nebraska, Sr.,  Biological Sciences, Arlington, Neb.
Ryan Hill, Nebraska,  Jr., Business Administration/Marketing, Arvada, Colo.
Adi Kunalic, Nebraska, Sr., Advertising, Fort Worth, Texas
Blake Lawrence, Nebraska*, Sr., Marketing, Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Zac Lee, Nebraska,  Sr.,  Business Administration , San Francisco, Calif.
Tyler Legate, Nebraska,  Jr., Elementary Education, Neligh, Neb.
Jay Martin, Nebraska,  Jr., Business Administration/Finance, Waverly, Neb.
Brent Qvale, Nebraska, Fr., Nutrition, Exercise & Health Science, Williston, N.D.


Second Team

Justin Blatchford, Nebraska, So., Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science, Ponca, Neb.
Joe Broekemeier, Nebraska, Sr.,  Business Administration, Aurora, Neb.
Jim Ebke, Nebraska, Jr., Mathematics, Lincoln, Neb.
Eric Hagg, Nebraska, Sr., Ethnic Studies, Peoria, Ariz.
Roy Helu Jr., Nebraska, Sr., Sociology, Danville, Calif.
Alex Henery, Nebraska, Sr.,  Construction Management, Omaha, Neb.
Thad Randle, Nebraska, Fr., Undeclared, Galena Park, Texas
Jeremiah Sirles, Nebraska, Fr., Undeclared,  Lakewood, Colo.
Lance Thorell, Nebraska, Jr., Agribusiness, Loomis, Neb.
Anthony West, Nebraska, Sr., Sociology, San Diego, Calif.