FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback senior center Jonathan Luigs has been named a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, it was announced by the association on Monday.
An elite group of thirty NCAA Division I student-athletes has been chosen as candidates for the inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in football. To be eligible for the football award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior (in the Football Bowl Subdivision only) and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
Luigs, 2007 Rimington Trophy award winner as the nation’s top center and a consensus All-American, holds a 2.886 cumulative GPA while majoring in transportation and logistics. He is a member of the UA Lon Farrell Honor Roll and has twice been named a Hard Working Hog (taking at least 30 hours during an academic year).
On the field, Luigs is looking to become the first two-time winner of the Rimington Trophy in the award’s history. Last year, he helped Arkansas’ line pave the way for an SEC-leading and school-record 3,725 rushing yards, an average of 286.5 yards per game, which was fourth in the nation. Arkansas also generated a school-record 5,850 yards of total offense and scored a school-record 485 points. Luigs was the first UA offensive lineman to win a major national individual award and only the fourth Razorback to win a national individual award.
Off the field, Luigs has participated in Bowling with the Razorbacks, a program for under privileged and handicapped children; Christmas with the Razorbacks, an event for children who lack family support during Christmas time, they spend time with student-athletes at a local amusement park; Book Hogs reading program, spending time in local elementary schools reading to children and a celebration lunch for those who read the most books; Big Brother and Big Sisters visits, taking pictures and signing autographs for children.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence. This prestigious awards program was launched during the 2001-02 basketball season, added six additional sports in 2007, and has now expanded this year to include NCAA football.
The 2008 list of candidates is loaded with talented football student-athletes who also excel away from the playing field. Twenty-six NCAA colleges and universities and 11 different athletics conferences are represented. The Ohio State University has the most candidates with three, while the University of Alabama and Georgia Tech University have two candidates each. Five members of the inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award football contingent played in a Bowl Championship Series game last season.
These 30 student-athletes will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the "Four C’s" of Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
The overall winner of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for football will be announced during a 2008-09 post-season college football event.
"Through this award, Lowe’s strives to shine the spotlight on student-athletes who are committed to their team and their community," said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s vice president of marketing. "Each candidate on this first-ever football list has that commitment. To hear their stories is very encouraging and Lowe’s is honored to reward them for all-around achievement."
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA and NCAA Football, expanded the award program in 2007 to include numerous NCAA Division I sports – men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball in addition to men and women’s basketball. With the addition of football this year, the number of sports encompassed by the nation’s premier award for seniors reaches nine.