The 2011 commencement ceremonies Sunday at The Ohio State University included diplomas for 15 Ohio State Buckeyes football players, 11 who were members of the 2010 Big Ten Conference and Sugar Bowl championship team. Including 15 student-athletes who had previously graduated in the past year, 26 individuals off the 2010 team have now received their degrees.
Earning bachelor's degrees Sunday: Joe Bauserman, Evan Blankenship, Joe Cech, Cameron Heyward, Garrett Hummel, Don Matheney, Tyler Moeller, Brian Rolle, Dane Sanzenbacher, Connor Smith and Taurian Washington.
Also honored with a diploma Sunday were four former Buckeye football players: Ken Blair, Dan Potokar, Dwight Smith and Donald Washington.
Other members of the 2010 team who had previously received their degrees are Devin Barclay, Justin Boren, Bryant Browning, Chimdi Chekwa, Ricky Crawford, Aaron Gant, Ross Homan, Josh Kerr, Dexter Larimore, Chris Malone, Andrew Miller, Jake McQuaide, Brandon Saine, Scott Sika and Grant Schwartz.
The 26 graduates of the 2010 team only tell part of the story of the academic achievements experienced by the football program this past academic year. Here are a few more notable thoughts and efforts:
* Bryant Browning received the fourth annual McMurry Scholar-Athlete Citizenship Award from the Ohio State University College of Social Work. The award honors one student-athlete each year who best exemplifies the idea of “Education for Citizenship” through significant volunteer service to the community.
* Six seniors – Bryant Browning, Garrett Hummel, Chris Malone, Jake McQuaide, Andrew Miller and Scott Sika – were named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society for maintaining at least a 3.20 grade point average over the course of their entire collegiate career.
* Chimdi Chekwa was a finalist for Ohio State's Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor Award.
* Scott Sika was a recipient of the Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award for his athletic and academic achievements in addition to his positive qualities of character and citizenship. The award includes a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship that is renewable for three years.
* Forty (40) Buckeyes were among the school-record 523 student-athletes who were named a 2010-11 OSU Scholar-Athlete.
* Six individuals were named an OSU Scholar-Athlete for the fifth time: Browning, Hummel, Dexter Larimore, McQuaide, Miller and Sika.
* An additional 22 football players were named Academic All-Big Ten Conference this past fall.
* Ohio State had the No. 1 Academic Progress Rate (APR) multi-year score among the Top 25 teams in the final 2010 USA Today/ESPN Football Coaches Top 25 poll. The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship.