GLENVIEW, Ill. – Southern Miss senior quarterback Austin Davis was among 10 student-athletes named to the Awards and Recognition Association's (ARA) seventh annual sportsmanship award.
The award is given to one outstanding NCAA Division I collegiate football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.
The 2011 Sportsmanship Award recipient will be chosen from 10 finalists and announced this November. "This year's candidates are an outstanding bunch, there is no shortage of positive role-model athletes," according to former Brigham Young University Head Football Coach LaVell Edwards who chairs the selection committee.
Previous winners are Arizona Cardinals and former University of Texas defensive end, Sam Acho (2010); Miami Dolphin and former Kansas State University tight end, Jeron Mastrud (2009), Chicago Bears and former Northwestern University receiver Eric Peterman (2008); Winnipeg Blue Bombers and former Washington State quarterback Alex Brink (2007); Cincinnati Bengels and former Rutgers University fullback, Brian Leonard (2006) and, Carolina Panthers and former University of Memphis running back, DeAngelo Williams (2005).
To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team; be in good academic standing; demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches; show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously; convey a high degree of humility and integrity; and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.
The 2011 finalists, in alphabetical order are:
"We were the lucky ones in our seventh year of reviewing candidates for the sportsmanship award," said ARA President Guy Barone.
"This is a solid list of impressive young men who live and breathe positive sportsmanship on and off the field. As the only national award that recognizes an athlete's character and leadership as it translates to sportsmanship, the ARA Sportsmanship Award was created seven years ago to shed light on these important traits."
Davis is also a finalist for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS award which is awarded to an NCAA Division I FBS senior who has notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.