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USD's Chris Ganious Named First Team Academic All-America


USD's Chris Ganious

USD's Chris Ganious

Dec. 9, 2011

University of South Dakota senior football running back Chris Ganious earned Capital One First Team Academic All-America honors, which was announced Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This is the second Academic All-America honor for Ganious as he was a second team selection in 2009.

Ganious was one of nine student-athletes from FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) schools named to the 26-member first team. Nebraska's Rex Burkhead was the other first team running back chosen, while Stanford's Andrew Luck was honored as Capital One Academic All-America Team Member of the Year. Luck, a Heisman Trophy candidate, carries a 3.48 GPA in Architectural Design as a junior.

Earlier this week, Ganious earned an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship by being named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy which goes to the absolute best scholar-athlete in the country. Though he didn't win the William V. Campbell Trophy, he was one of 16 outstanding student-athletes who were honored at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City Tuesday evening.

Ganious is finishing a stellar career for the Coyotes both on and off the field. He moved into third all-time in rushing this season in school history with 2,871 yards. He surpassed Jared Schwenn (1994-97) on Sept. 10, 2011, with 85 yards as the Coyotes upset then-No. 1 and defending national champion Eastern Washington University 30-17 in the DakotaDome. Ganious has lettered all three years as a Coyote and earned All-Great West Conference first team honors as a sophomore and junior. He led the team with 817 yards rushing in 2010 finishing second in the league. As a sophomore, he led the conference in rushing and was named South Dakota's Offensive Player of the Year. As a redshirt freshman, he also led the team in rushing (755 yards) and was named USD's Harry Gamage Most Valuable Freshman in 2008.

In the classroom, Ganious' accomplishments are just as impressive. He carries a 3.81 GPA in psychology and plans on attending P.A. school after graduation in May. He is a two-time Great West Academic All-Conference selection and earned CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors in 2009. He is a two-time FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) ADA Academic All-Star and had the prestigious honor of representing South Dakota at the NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference in May of 2009 in Orlando, Fla.

Ganious also has participated in a number of extracurricular activities as he is the Co-President of SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and nominated for Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year (July 2011). He was named Outstanding Junior in the Psychology Department in May 2010 and was a member of the Gender Equity Oversight Committee on Title IX (March 2010), while serving on the Athletic Director search committee (January 2010).

In addition, Ganious also has done numerous volunteer activities including wheelchair basketball (February 2010), volunteered at a nursing home (June 2011) and at the Children's Home and Aid Rice Center (July 2011), to name a few.