Mastrud Receives ARA Sportsmanship Award

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State senior tight end Jeron Mastrud was named the recipient of the fifth annual Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) Sportsmanship Award, the organization announced Monday.

The award is annually presented to the NCAA Bowl Division Subdivision collegiate football player who most exemplifies sportsmanship on and off the field. Mastrud was selected from 10 finalists representing schools across the country.

"Our blue ribbon panel of retired coaches and sports experts had a daunting task this year with so many outstanding Bowl Division candidates. In this, our fifth year, it was a very tight race and we're encouraged by the caliber of athletes that live and breathe good sportsmanship," said former Brigham Young University football coach and selection committee chairman, LaVell Edwards. "It was Mastrud's unselfish, classy and service-oriented approach to the game and to life that made him stand out. He's an extremely hard worker with a positive can-do attitude. I'm deeply honored to name him the 2009 recipient of the ARA Sportsmanship Award."

Mastrud has been a team leader since his freshman year. Known for his humble approach toward coaches, teammates, opponents and the media, Mastrud was a 2009 First Team All-Big 12 selection who caught 21 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown during 2009. A team captain, Mastrud appeared in 48 of a possible 49 games during his Wildcat career, while he started a team-best 26 straight games to conclude his tenure in Manhattan.

Mastrud caught 106 passes for 1,219 yards and three touchdowns during his four-year career. His 106 receptions are tied for the 10th-most in K-State history, but tops among tight ends, while his 1,219 receiving yards rank second among tight ends in the school's history. He also caught at least one pass in 26 straight games, the second-longest streak since 1990.

Earning a 3.81 GPA in business administration, Mastrud received his undergraduate degree in Business Management in just three-and-a-half years at K-State's December commencement. The Beaverton, Ore., native earned second team Academic All-American honors for the second-straight year, one of only 10 players nationally to earn Academic All-America honors in consecutive seasons. Mastrud is also a three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 and All-District honoree.

Known for his hard work off the field, Mastrud has been involved with several community service initiatives over his four-year stay in Manhattan, including Cats for Cans, Read to Achieve, Walkin' with a Wildcat and Adopt-a-Family, while he was a leading force behind 90 football players who helped local residents clean up following a tornado in Manhattan during the summer of 2008.

"All of those areas (academics, community service and football) are important to me because I look at myself as a well-rounded individual," said Mastrud. "It takes a high degree of time management and discipline, but it can be done when each area is equally important to you."

For his efforts off the field, Mastrud was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team prior to his senior campaign and was a semifinalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy).

Previous winners of the ARA Sportsmanship Award are Northwestern University receiver Eric Peterman (2008); Washington State quarterback Alex Brink (2007); Cincinnati Bengals fullback Brian Leonard (2006); and Carolina Panthers running back, DeAngelo Williams (2005).

To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team; be a senior in good academic standing; demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches; show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously; convey a high degree of humility and integrity; and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.

All NCAA Bowl Subdivision schools were eligible to submit nominations for the ARA Sportsmanship Award. The finalists were selected in a blinded process by representatives from ARA. The winner was selected by a blue-ribbon panel comprised of famous retired college coaches, members of the sports media and representatives from other complementary organizations.

ARA President Glenn Beckworth and head coach Bill Snyder presented Mastrud with the Sportsmanship Award at an afternoon press conference at the Vanier Football Complex on Monday.



 

Dave Bergeson, ARA Executive Director
"Thank you K-State for hosting us today. It is a great day, and not just for one student-athlete, his team, and his university. It is a great day for college football, and for all of professional and amateur sports.

"The reason we are gathered here today is to present the fifth annual ARA Sportsmanship Award. In doing so, we are drawing attention to one individual who is representative of what is great about college football.

"The Awards and Recognition Association is proud to have established the only award that turns the spotlight on good character; on an individual who can help inspire young athletes and fans to achieve the highest levels of sportsmanship and athleticism.

"This year's award winner is backed up by nine other outstanding finalists. Behind each of those finalists are countless other college football players, each representing the kind of character to which professional and amateur athletes of all ages should aspire, both on and off the playing field.

"All NCAA Division I schools were eligible to submit nominations for the ARA Sportsmanship Award. Ten finalists were selected in a blind process, and the winner was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of former football coaches, sports and media professionals and other leaders from throughout college football.

"To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor to his team, be a senior in good academic standing, demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates, and coaches, show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously, convey a high degree of humility and integrity, and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community. Selecting only one recipient of this award was not an easy task.

"On behalf of the 4,000 members of our association, I would like to thank our panel of judges for their thoughtful consideration of each candidate and for their time and effort in selecting our 2009 recipient.

"We had a great problem this year; an abundance of amazing candidates. The selection committee had their work cut out for them in carefully examining each of the candidates' qualifications. I am confident that we made the right decision.

"This individual does demonstrate the type of honest, humble sportsmanship that should inspire young and old alike. The coaches on the selection committee expect their players to play the game hard, play it fair, respect the game and respect their opponent. I think most coaches would say the same thing. That's why they got into the sport in the first place and that's why most of the nation's finest athletes demonstrate these qualities.

"I am very pleased that ARA went beyond talking about sportsmanship and came up with a way to help us recognize role models with the qualities that those of us in college football admire. I cannot think of a more deserving football player to acknowledge than Kansas State University's Jeron Mastrud.

"It was Mastrud's unselfish, classy, and service oriented approach to the game and to life that made him stand out. As you may well know, he is an extremely hard worker with a positive can-do attitude. With a strong work ethic for academics and football, 22-year old senior Mastrud has been a team leader since his freshman year. He is known for his humble approach towards coaches, teammates, opponents and the media. He was a 2009 First Team All-Big 12 selection who caught 21 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown during 2009.

"A team captain, Mastrud appeared on 48 out of a possible 49 games during his Wildcat career. He started a team best 26 straight games to conclude his tenure in Manhattan. He averaged 11.4 yards per catch and 36.2 yards a game. Mastrud catch 106 passes for 1,219 yards and three touchdowns during his four year career. His 106 receptions are tied for 10th most in K-State history but tops among tight ends, while his 1,219 receiving yards ranks second among tight ends in the school's history. He also caught at least one pass in 26 straight games, the second-longest streak since 1990.

"He earned a 3.81 GPA in Business Administration, Mastrud earned high praises for his academic achievements as Second Team Academic All-American and one of 10 players nationally to earn Academic All-American honors in consecutive seasons. He also became the seventh player in school history to garner multiple academic All-American accolades. A three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 and All-District honoree, Mastrud was named to the American Football Coaches Association's Good Works Team prior to his senior campaign and was semi-finalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy.

"In addition to his academic achievements and football records, the Beaverton, Ore., native and son of high school football coach, has shown his steadfast commitment to community service. He has been heavily involved with Cats for Cans, a food drive benefiting hungry relief in the greater Manhattan, Kan., area; Read to Achieve, a student-athlete partnership with a local elementary school; Tornado clean-up from a 2008 devastating storm; Walkin' with a Wildcat, a mentoring program pairing middle school kids with K-State student athletes; and The Adopt a Family holiday program benefiting those in need during the holiday season.

"On behalf of the Awards and Recognition Association, the fifth annual ARA Sportsmanship Award goes to Jeron Mastrud."

Senior Tight End Jeron Mastrud
"I am very grateful to be here today to accept this award. I would like to think Pam (Schur) and Dave (Bergeson) for coming all the way from Chicago to present the award to me. I would also like to thank Kenny (Lannou), Ryan (Lackey), Jill (Shields) and Ragean (Hill) for nominating me. I would like to thank Jill and Ragean for helping me out through my academic career here and presenting me with the opportunities to work with the community off the field and my involvement with the SAAC Committee.

"I also would like to thank my coaches, Coach (Bill) Snyder, my position coach, Coach (Ricky) Rahne. I also want to thank Coach (Joe Bob) Clements and Coach Mo (Latimore) for being here today. I want to personally thank my teammates because without them, winning this award would not be possible. Of course, I would like to thank my mother for coming out here from Oregon to be here with me. I love her a lot and without her I wouldn't have won this award."

Head Coach Bill Snyder
"All the nice things that have been said about Jeron a really very accurate. I think all of us realize that and you can tell by the talk that he gave that he cares about other people and he understands the value of having other good people in his life.

"Let me say thank you to the ARA for what you do. This is the fifth year that this award has been in existence. I have great appreciation for people who admire these wonderful things and these great values and character that our young people and Jeron have throughout our nation. I think we have begun to lose sight of some of those things that are significant and you bring it front and center which I believe makes your organization so special.

"Jeron is a young guy who does all of the things he does in such a humble way. When we talk about character and intrinsic values, I think Jeron sets the standard. I have been awful proud of the things he has done and the way he has received many awards and accolades that he has in that very humble and unique way.

"My sadness is the fact that we had only one year to spend with Jeron and we wish it could be so much longer. He is a young man that will have great success in life and because he has all those values in place and obviously that doesn't come without being parented in a very special way.

"Congratulations Jeron and we are going to miss you."