Sept. 2, 2009

Overland Park, KS – Thirty NCAA football student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were tabbed as candidates today for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior in the Football Bowl Subdivision and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.

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 students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 2009 candidates include student-athletes from 13 teams ranked in the Associated Press preseason top 25 poll. There are five AP All-Americans, one American Football Coaches Association All-American, one member from the AFCA's Allstate Good Works Team and one former Heisman Trophy winner. In addition, three candidates were named to last year's CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American team and five student-athletes have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or better, including two who have recorded perfect 4.0 GPAs in their careers. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner in early January.

The 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 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 finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition.

“The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidates for football are the best of the best in NCAA Division I athletics,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “They have set high standards for themselves throughout their collegiate careers and have consistently risen to the highest levels in the classroom and in their communities.”

This marks the second year for the football division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. In 2008, Ohio State University linebacker James Laurinaitis took home the inaugural football award.

This release can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/lQK7b