TAMPA — USF soccer player Zak Boggs, who earned the Big East's highest academic honor last year while helping the Bulls to a conference crown, now has his sights on something much bigger: becoming the school's first Rhodes Scholar.
Boggs, who graduated last fall with a 4.0 grade-point average in biomedical sciences and is pursuing a Master's degree in marketing, is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most respected collegiate academic accolades for more than a century. Generally, two are awarded annually in each of 16 districts in the United States. Boggs, who's a senior in athletic eligibility, would be competing against students in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.
"Why I think he really has a shot is his integrity," said Amy Haworth, USF's associate athletic director for academics. "It's truly a delight to have someone who is so focused in his commitment to education, with broad interests and broad excellence. He is heads and tails above what is expected."
Boggs, the soccer team's top returning scorer, was the Big East male scholar-athlete of the year last season, the first USF athlete to achieve that honor. He recently met with USF president Judy Genshaft to discuss the application process after the dean of USF's Honors College suggested he pursue it.
"It's pretty crazy," Boggs, who's from Vienna, W. Va, said of the thought of being USF's first Rhodes Scholar. "And you get to go over to England. With the soccer over there, it'd be cool to be immersed in that culture."
Last year, Florida State safety Myron Rolle was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar.
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