Nov. 24, 2009
IRVING, Texas - Freshman quarterback Nick Florence headlined a group of 16 Baylor student-athletes named to the 2009 Academic All-Big 12 Conference teams, as announced Tuesday by the league office. Florence was one of only three selections to compile a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The Bears tied a school record with 11 first-team honorees, and five Baylor student-athletes were selected to the second team. Baylor had the same number on both teams a season ago. The only time Baylor had more honorees came when the Bears placed 18 student-athletes on the teams in 2006. Baylor has produced 47 first-team honorees over the last five seasons after producing 38 first-team selections in the league's first nine years. In total, the Bears have produced 155 Academic All-Big 12 selections since the league's inception in 1996, and 72 of those selections have come in the last five years.
Baylor's first-team selections were wide receiver Krys Buerck (junior; film and digital media), long snapper Casey Cooper (senior; history), quarterback Tyler DeLoach (senior; business), punter Derek Epperson (junior, business), Florence (freshman, business), offensive lineman Jake Jackson (freshman, business), defensive lineman Jason Lamb (senior, management), linebacker Logan Lanier (freshman, business), linebacker Joe Pawelek (senior, finance), wide receiver Lanear Sampson (freshman, business) and fullback Sam Sledge (senior, business administration).
Pawelek joined Ben Hixson (2005-2008), Daniel Sepulveda (2003-2006) and Kyle Atteberry (1996-1999) as the only Baylor student-athletes to be named to the first team in four consecutive seasons. Lamb earned his fourth consecutive selection; he was named to the first team as a freshman and the second team as a sophomore and junior. Buerck and Sledge were both named to the first team for the first time after earning second-team honors a season ago.
Baylor's second-team honorees were offensive lineman James Barnard (senior, sport pedagogy), offensive lineman Cameron Kaufhold (freshman, business), place kicker Ben Parks (sophomore, biology), defensive end Zac Scotton (sophomore, political science) and place kicker Dary Stone (senior, business administration).
Texas led the league with 23 honorees. Baylor's 11 first-team selections were third in the league behind Texas and Nebraska, who both had 15.
Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services and its media relations offices, the 2009 football academic all-league squad consisted of 101 first-team members and 68 on the second team. First-team members have recorded a 3.20 or better GPA, while second-team members have recorded a GPA between 3.00 and 3.19.
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.
Baylor returns to action Saturday, Nov. 28, concluding its 2009 season against Texas Tech in the Texas Farm Bureau Shootout at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff between the Bears and Red Raiders is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. CST and the game will be televised live nationally on FSN.