Adeniji and Torneden named 2019 Senior CLASS Award Candidates
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas seniors Hakeem Adeniji and Bryce Tornenden were among 30 NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes selected Thursday as candidates for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate football. 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.
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.
A Preseason All-Big 12 First Team honoree in 2019, Adeniji is one of the top-rated offensive linemen in the Big 12. He took home All-Big 12 Third Team honors in both 2017 and 2018. During his freshman season he was tabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and named to the Freshman All-Big 12 First Team.
A native of Garland, Texas, Adeniji is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree and was a 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team selection. He is also a five-time member of both the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and has already completed his bachelor’s degree in management and leadership in just three years at KU.
Adeniji has given his time to numerous community service initiatives while at KU. He has worked on a house for Habitat for Humanity, and he has spent time at grocery stores during the holidays ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. He also serves on a 10-person leadership committee for KU’s partnership with Team Impact, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
Torneden, who plays safety for the Jayhawks, has also participated in numerous community service initiatives with a focus on impacting the community he calls home, Lawrence. He has spent countless hours visiting local elementary schools and doing his best to impact the next generation of children.
Torneden has also been instrumental in KU football’s partnership with Team Impact, serving as the leadership team captain. He leads 10 players who determine how the program spends its time with teammate, Tayber Witt, and how they can positively impact his life. Torneden has spent countless hours with Witt on campus, but has also led groups visiting him at his school and taking him bowling, among other activities.
In addition, because of Torneden’s impressive leadership skills, he was recently selected as one of the Big 12 Conference’s two football players tabbed for the NCAA’s Football Student-Athlete Connection Group.
On the field, Torneden currently ranks second on the KU defense with 28 tackles, 1.0 tackle-for-loss and one forced fumble through the first four games of the 2019 season. He earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors in 2018 after posting 91 tackles, one interception, which he returned 39 yards for a touchdown, and 5.5 tackles for loss as a junior. He also took home honorable mention honors from the league coaches in 2017 as well as earning All-Big 12 Third Team honors from Athlon Sports. Torneden has started 30 games, including 29-straight, at either safety or nickelback for KU.
A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree (2017-18), Bryce Torneden is an academic standout. He also has earned a spot on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Athletics Director’s Honor Roll for five consecutive semesters.
Both Adeniji and Torneden were selected to be on KU’s Unity Council, and were named team captions after a vote by their teammates. Additionally, they both represented Kansas football at Big 12 Media Day.
Torneden was recently named to the 2019 AFCA Good Works Team (community service) and is KU’s nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy (community service).
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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