Kansas Football Ties For Conference Top Honors With 19 Academic All-Big 12 Honorees

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Highlighted by a pair of seniors in offensive lineman Gavin Howard and defensive lineman Shane Smith who earned their third-straight selections to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team, 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, as the conference office released its list of academic honorees Thursday.

KU’s 19 players who earned mention on the first and second teams not only tied for the most in the conference this year, but also matched the most by a Kansas football team in the Big 12 era as 19 Jayhawks were also recognized in 2012. Additionally, 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.

Spencer also picked up first team honors in 2010, while Jablonski and Lewandowski were second team honorees in 2012.

Second team honorees included: nickelback 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 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. True 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.

Kansas will travel to Iowa State Saturday for its final road game of the 2013 season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Jack Trice Stadium and can be seen nationally on FOX Sports 1.

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