Academic success continues to be one of the strong elements of the Kansas University football program under Charlie Weis, and, Thursday, the Jayhawks reaped the benefits of their work in the classroom.
Highlighted by a pair of seniors in offensive lineman Gavin Howard and defensive lineman Shane Smith, Kansas football placed 19 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 teams for the second-consecutive season under head coach Charlie Weis. The 19 honorees tied for the Big 12 lead along with Oklahoma.
Howard and Smith earned their third-straight selections to the squad and the Jayhawks led the conference with 14 first-team honorees.
In addition to Howard and Smith, other first team members included halfback Brandon Bourbon, holder/quarterback Blake Jablonski, long snapper Reilly Jeffers, wide receiver Jonathan Jones, offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski, safety Dexter Linton, safety Alex Matlock, defensive lineman/fullback T.J. Semke, offensive lineman Riley Spencer, tight end Trent Smiley, defensive lineman Kevin Young and long snapper Zackary Young.
Second team honorees included: nickel back Courtney Arnick, safety Deron Dangerfield, quarterback Jake Heaps, cornerback JaCorey Shepherd and wide receiver Andrew Turzilli. Shepherd and Turzilli are both on the second team for the second-consecutive year.
Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services, the football academic all-league squad consisted of 82 first-team members combined with 49 on the second team. First-team members consist of those who have maintained a grade-point average of 3.20 or better, and the second team includes those who have a GPA in the 3.0-3.19 range.
True freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence.