WMU’s Wassink a finalist for top scholar-athlete award

NCAA Football
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Western Michigan quarterback Jon Wassink (16) throws a pass against Michigan State during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University quarterback Jon Wassink has been named a finalist for the National Football Foundation’s top honor for scholar-athletes.

He is among 12 players to receive the 2019 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award, which comes with a $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.

“This is such a wonderful honor for Jon, our football program and university,” Western Michigan Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard said in a Wednesday statement. “It has been a privilege watching Jon achieve what we always believed he could. He has been the embodiment of what we want our Broncos to be — committed academically and athletically, striving for growth and giving back to the community surrounding him.”

A Grand Rapids South Christian product, Wassink was named the WMU Football John Gill Scholar Athlete in 2017 and was a Mid-American Conference Distinguished Scholar-Athlete twice. He graduated from WMU in December with a 3.95 GPA and a degree in accountancy. He’s now working toward his master’s degree.

The other recipients of the National Scholar-Athlete Award are:

  • Spencer Blackburn (Eastern Washington);
  • Rodrigo Blankenship (Georgia);
  • Jordan Fuller (Ohio State);
  • Alex Goettl (Minnesota State Mankato);
  • Justin Herbert (Oregon);
  • Adam Holtorf (Kansas State);
  • Michael Lohmeier (Carnegie Mellon in Pennsylvania);
  • Jordan Mack (Virginia);
  • Dante Olson (Montana);
  • Jelani Taylor (Cornell);
  • Casey Toohill (Stanford).

In December, one of the finalists will be awarded the William V. Campbell Trophy, which goes to the top scholar-athlete in college football and carries at $25,000 scholarship.

Former WMU players Tom Hiller and Zach Terrell won the Campbell Trophy in 2009 and 2016, respectively.

“The fact we have had three honorees in 10 years says something about the type of program we are running here. Jon fits that mold of Tim and Zach. He maximizes everything he does,” WMU football head coach Tim Lester stated. “He is playing great on the field. He’s making a difference with teachers and in the community and is a joy to have around.”

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