Lincoln – A large class of 48 current and former Husker student-athletes across all sports will earn their undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska during commencement exercises on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Coach Bo Pelini’s Nebraska football program makes up nearly one-third of the list of December graduates with 14 current or former players earning degrees, including first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America offensive lineman Spencer Long and his twin brother and second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America tight end Jake Long. Other members of the 2013 NU football team earning degrees include Brandon Chapek, Scott Criss, Jay Guy, Seth Jameson, Ron Kellogg III, Taylor Martinez, Wil Richards and Colby Starkebaum. Overall, 19 of Nebraska’s 23 seniors will participate in NU’s 2014 Gator Bowl festivities with degree in hand on New Year’s Day in Jacksonville, Fla.
Former Husker football student-athletes Antonio Bell, Joe Carter and Dreu Young also will claim their diplomas on Saturday morning.
Seven former members of Coach Darin Erstad’s Nebraska baseball program will earn their degrees, including Kurt Farmer, Kale Kiser, Tom Lemke, Tyler Niederklein, Rich Sanguinetti, Josh Scheffert and Dylan Vogt.
A strong class of five current and former student-athletes will represent Coach John Cook’s Husker volleyball program, led by 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-American and Senior CLASS Award winner Gina Mancuso. All-Americans Lauren Cook, Kelsey Robinson and Morgan Broekhuis join Mancuso as AVCA All-Americans graduating from Nebraska on Saturday, while 2013 senior captain Hayley Thramer also will claim her diploma.
Coach Gary Pepin adds five members of his track and field program to the list of graduates as well, including All-American Morgan Wilken, Martina Barinova, Tommy Brinn, Rashad Moxey and NCAA Elite 89 Award winner Anne Martin.
Coach Pablo Morales’ swimming and diving program contributes four graduates with Katie Davis, Hayley Martin, Ashley Reiter and Sara Weinberg.
Amanda Burau and Shalima Zalsha from Coach Bill Straub’s national championship bowling program will both earn their degreesSaturday. Scott Jacobson’s women’s tennis team will add a pair of graduates, including 2013 All-American Patricia Veresova, along with Chelsea Finnegan. Coach Kerry McDermott’s men’s tennis squad will pitch in two graduates as well with Eric Sock and Andre Stenger.
Coach Chuck Chmelka’s men’s gymnastics team (Micah Christensen, Andreas Hofer) and Coach Rhonda Revelle’s softball team (Courtney Breault, Brooke Thomason) both added a pair of graduates, while Coach John Walker’s soccer team (Jordan Jackson), Mark Manning’s wrestling team (Cody Compton) and Coach Bill Spangler’s men’s golf team (Neil Dufford) complete the list of graduates.
Nebraska’s diverse group of 48 December graduates came to Lincoln from 15 states and five foreign countries, including Germany (2), the Bahamas, the Czech Republic, Indonesia and Slovakia. The Cornhusker State was also well represented with 18 Nebraska natives among the list of graduates.
Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the nation, while leading the nation in the number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (310) and NCAA Top Ten Award winners (17) across all sports.
December 2013 Nebraska Student-Athlete Graduates (48)
Martina Barinova Track & Field/CC Prerov, Czech Republic Spanish
Antonio Bell Football
Courtney Breault Softball
Tommy Brinn Track & Field/CC Otsego, Mich.
Morgan Broekhuis Volleyball
Amanda Burau Bowling
Brandon Chapek Football
Seung Hoon Choi Football
Micah Christensen Men’s Gymnastics Port Orchard, Wash.
Cody Compton Wrestling
Lauren Cook Volleyball
Chelsea Finnegan Women’s Tennis Las Vegas, Nev.
Andreas Hofer Men’s Gymnastics Heidelberg, Germany
Jordan Jackson Soccer
Seth Jameson Football
Ron Kellogg III Football
Tom Lemke Baseball
Spencer Long Football
Gina Mancuso Volleyball
Hayley Martin Swimming & Diving Monona, Wis.
Taylor Martinez Football
Rashad Moxey Track & Field Nassau, Bahamas
Tyler Niederklein Baseball
Ashley Reiter Swimming & Diving Fargo, N.D.
Kelsey Robinson Volleyball
Rich Sanguinetti Baseball
Josh Scheffert Baseball
Colby Starkebaum Football
Andre Stenger Men’s Tennis Tutzing, Germany
Brooke Thomason Softball
Hayley Thramer Volleyball
Patricia Veresova Women’s Tennis Piestany, Slovakia
Sara Weinberg Swimming & Diving Bismarck, N.D.
Morgan Wilken Track & Field Crofton, Neb.
Dreu Young Football
Shalima Zalsha Bowling