Found October 26, 2011 on
PLAYERS: Kirk Cousins

Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins has been named one of the 16 best and brightest collegiate college football players by being named to this year’s National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete Class. Players selected win $18,000 postgraduate scholarships.

Cousins continues to add to a résumé that will ultimately end up as one of the best the Spartans have ever seen. Cousin’s continues to excel on the field. He was named captain for the third time becoming just the second three-time captain in school history. Cousins further expanded his pristine reputation in the last two weeks by becoming the first Spartan quarterback to beat Michigan three times in a career. Cousins followed that up with a 44-yard Hail Mary to Keith Nichols against an undefeated Wisconsin Badgers that vaulted him into sole possession of the title of winningest quarterback in school history.

Cousins added to a historic career with an unforgettable pass against Wisconsin.

Yes, Cousins has done great things on the field, but this about more than that. Cousins is practicing what he preaches, and that’s admirable. Cousins can often be heard imploring that need for athletes to set good examples and be role models. It’s great to hear someone speak out and say something, but it’s another thing to see them do it. Cousins, a Kinesiology major, has a 3.68 GPA and has qualified for the Dean’s List or the President’s List every semester of his college career. The $18,00 scholarship gives these athletes a chance to pursue a higher education as a reward for their achievements on and off the field

“This year’s class is one of the best ever in the 53-year history of the program,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “Their average GPA is a remarkable 3.81, setting a modern day record for the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Without exception, they are some of the finest student-athletes to ever set foot on the gridiron, and they serve as a prime example of football’s unique ability to build leaders. Ensuring that they continue their education with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship is a privilege, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”

To go with the great marks in school, Cousins received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award and Michigan State’s Clarence J. Underwood, Jr. Sportsmanship Award in 2010. On and off the field Michigan State’s quarterback has given young fans an athlete they can look up too. As a matter of fact, even other athletes should try to immolate the path Cousins has taken.

“The 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class represents all that is right about college football,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “They have displayed the same competitive fire to win in the classroom that has distinguished them as some of the best football players in the country. In addition, each has found time to give back with an impressive list of leadership roles in their respective communities. Our goal in recognizing them is that future football players will be inspired to follow their example.”

For three years Cousins has been the face of the Michigan State football team. Through the ups and downs of the field the program has always been able to rely on Cousins to set a positive image, while still keeping a winning edge. Cousins may be a once in a student-athlete for Michigan State, and the Spartans are going to have a hard time replacing him.


Spartans Head to Lincoln to Take on the Cornhuskers

The Michigan State Spartans are in prime position to take the Big Ten this year, but going on the road to face the 14th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers could prove to be quite the challenge. The Cornhuskers represent the third consecutive ranked opponent for the Spartans, with each opponent being ranked no less than 18th. As they were last week, the Spartans once again come into the...

No. 9 Spartans hope to stay on roll at No. 13 Neb

No. 9 Michigan State finishes a brutal October schedule at No. 13 Nebraska on Saturday. The Spartans (6-1, 3-0) have defeated Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin this month. If they knock off the Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1), they would be two games up on Nebraska in the Big Ten Legends Division and own the tiebreaker. The question is whether the Spartans can come down from the high of...

Before catch, Nichol had to find his niche

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer Keith Nichol's game-winning catch for Michigan State last weekend came after a long, unusual career path. Nichol was a high school star at quarterback and planned to attend Michigan State, but when coach John L. Smith was fired he decided to go to Oklahoma instead. When Sam Bradford emerged as...

No. 9 Michigan St. loses 24-3 at No. 13 Nebraska

That fantastic finish against Wisconsin sure seems like a long time ago to Michigan State. The ninth-ranked Spartans had a chance to build an almost insurmountable lead in the Big Ten Legends Division on Saturday against No. 13 Nebraska, but the Spartans' road demons cropped up again in a 24-3 loss. ''What a difference a week makes,'' Michigan State coach Mark...

Defending Against Kirk Cousins

Pressuring Spartan Quarterback a Key for NU So far this week, most of the reports and chatter about the Huskers' upcoming game with Michigan State has focused on how the NU offense matches up with the Spartan defense. That makes sense - strength against strength. But the outcome of the game may hinge more on the Husker defense, in particular their...

Michigan State suffers first Big Ten loss after getting hammered by Nebraska on road, 24-3

Spartans QB Kirk Cousins was just 11-of-27 for 86 yards with one interception.

Just 'another good defense'? Michigan State not concerned with Taylor Martinez's comments

Nebraska's QB suggested the Spartans didn't slow Denard Robinson, the wind did, and Keith Nichol didn't get it on the Hail Mary.

Michigan State Spartans Links: Dantonio has built a Big Ten power

Mark Dantonio has turned the Spartans into a Big Ten power in four-plus seasons.

Johnathan Strayhorn: Family Fortitude

Many of the current players on the Spartan roster were recruited heavily by the Michigan State coaching staff. Senior defensive tackle Johnathan Strayhorn landed in Green and White in an unconventional way.

Michigan State football, like Nebraska, has history of walk-on players contributing

Kyler Elsworth the latest example for the Spartans; Blair White and D.J. Young were former walk-ons at Michigan State who made it to the NFL.

No miracles for Spartans at Nebraska

In college football, what goes up one week often comes down the next. Just ask Michigan State. Seven days earlier, the Spartans felt the euphoria of a last-second Hail Mary victory, but on Saturday they looked like a totally different team while getting shut down in a 24-3 loss at Nebraska. It was Michigan State's fewest points in 95 games, since losing none other than the...

Big Tentacles: Kirk Cousins, Taylor Martinez, Dan Persa, and more.

(Big Tentacles is the SWRT look at the Big Ten and the schools it not-so-secretly covets.)  Michigan is not going to collapse in the second half of the season again. Because Wolverine quarterback Denard Robinson said so. (ESPN) I'm Moving On.  Michigan State defensive lineman  William Gholston is ready to move on from the on-the-field swing he took at an opposing...

Focus and Pressure

The Michigan State Spartans defeated a Wisconsin team last weekend that most fans and media had practically crowned Big Ten champs.  The Spartans were able to win the game for a few key reasons.  They overcame a rough start with the focus to avoid mistakes and the pressure applied to force opponent mistakes.  For the Huskers, maintaining their own focus and disrupting the opponent...

Nebraska Beats Michigan State

Going into a critical contest against Michigan State, the question was whether Nebraska's defense could play well enough to defeat the Spartans. The Husker defense proved up to the challenge delivering a 24-3 victory in Lincoln. ...
Spartans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.