Four Wildcats Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Four former Kansas State football players – place kicker Jack Cantele, fullback Glenn Gronkowski, offensive lineman Luke Hayes and wide receiver Stanton Weber – were among a record 868 players to be named members of the 2016 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF announced Wednesday.

The Hampshire Honor Society, which began in 2007, recognizes college football players from all divisions who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. It is the second year in a row K-State has had at least four players named to the society after a school-record five in 2015.

“The number of colleges and universities who embrace the Hampshire Honor Society continues to increase each year,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence.”

Cantele, Gronkowski, Hayes and Weber were each named First Team Academic All-Big 12 performers in 2015, including Weber, who was nominated with a 4.0 GPA. Cantele and Gronkowski were also named to the 2015 Academic All-District 7 First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Cantele served as the full-time place kicker in 2013 and for a majority of the 2015 season. The civil engineering major finished his career ranked fourth in school history in career field goal percentage (77.8) and 10th in career field goals made (38), while he is also ranked in the school’s top-10 in career extra points (82; 7th) and field goals (36; 10th) attempted.

Gronkowski, a management and marketing major who was a redshirt junior in 2015 and declared for 2016 NFL Draft, was the primary fullback all three seasons of his career, earning three-straight All-Big 12 honors. He averaged 24.6 yards on 15 career receptions, the highest average in school history among players with 15 or more catches.

Hayes, who will obtain his degree in kinesiology next month, was a two-year starter along the offensive line after transferring to K-State from Butler Community College. Weber, an accounting major, played in 46 games and became a mainstay on virtually every special teams unit as he was named a captain for his senior season.

The 868 players named to the NFF Hampshire Honors Society in 2016 eclipsed the previous record of 838 honorees in 2014. The initiative has honored 6,620 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.

K-State opens the 2016 football season with a nationally-televised matchup at Stanford on Friday, September 2. Following an off week, the Wildcats kick off their 2016 home slate on Saturday, September 17, against Florida Atlantic and will debut Phase IIIB of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan. The remaining five home games feature matchups against a pair of teams that earned bowl berths in 2015 in Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, while two other Big 12 rivals – Texas and Kansas – also come calling to Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

A limited number of single-game tickets for the 2016 season go on sale online only on June 20. All six home games are anticipated to sell out quickly and extend the Bill Snyder Family Stadium sellout streak to 33 games.