Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Michigan State Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins wins academic award

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins has a 3.68 GPA and recently graduated with a degree in kinesiology.

Getty Images

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins has a 3.68 GPA and recently graduated with a degree in kinesiology.

TAMPA — QB Kirk Cousins, only the second three-time captain in Michigan State history, was named the winner of the Senior CLASS Award on Thursday.

The award — Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School — goes to the outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I-A. The winner is chosen in a nationwide balloting of coaches, media and fans.

Georgia P Drew Butler, an academic All-American and All-SEC honorable mention selection, was another finalist.

"It's a special award," said Cousins, who has a 3.68 grade point average and graduated this month with a degree in kinesiology. "I guess it just shows the kind of company that I'm able to be a part of, and it's very humbling."

The son of a minister, Cousins arrived at Michigan State as a borderline Big Ten prospect but evolved into the winningest quarterback in school history. He needs 34 yards in the Outback Bowl to eclipse Jeff Smoker's school record for total offense (8,714).

PREPARING TO FAIL? With 30 days between the bowl matchup announcement and kickoff, both coaches acknowledge a risk of overpreparing exists.

"If you see a certain coverage, you think, 'Well, we've got a chance to do something with this,' " Georgia's Mark Richt said. "So you can do too much in that regard, and all of a sudden you can't execute anything.

"I've been coaching now 27 years, and the more I watch it, it comes down to turnovers and special teams so often."

SEEKING ATONEMENT: A common sentiment among Michigan State's players was to get this game under way. None, however, seemed more eager than SS Isaiah Lewis.

Lewis' running-into-the-kicker penalty with 1:37 to play in the Big Ten title game allowed Wisconsin to run out the clock and preserve a 42-39 victory. Lewis, a second-team all-conference pick who has four interceptions this season, says he's ready for redemption.

"I'm trying to have the best game of my season because coming off something like that, people are looking down on you like, 'How's he going to respond?' " he said.

"And I'm looking to respond in a positive way. I'm going to try to show people that a thing like that isn't going to hold me down at all."

THIS AND THAT: Three Georgia offensive linemen have started every game this season: T Justin Anderson, T Cordy Glenn and C Ben Jones. … Cousins has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala. … Outback Bowl CEO Jim McVay's father, John, was a Michigan State assistant for Duffy Daugherty from 1962-64.

Michigan State Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins wins academic award 12/29/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 29, 2011 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]