NDSU student-athletes have excelled both in the classroom and athletic competition, consistently earning national recognition during the past decade.
NDSU linebacker Jackson Hankey continued that tradition when he won the NCAA Elite 90 Award presented Jan. 10 at the NCAA Division I Football Championship banquet in Frisco, Texas.
It was the 12th Elite 90 Award that Bison student-athletes have received since 2011.
The award, founded by the NCAA, honors the individual who has reached the national championship level in their sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among their peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 90 championships.
“This award obviously means a lot to me. I take a lot of pride in my academics and education,” said Hankey, who has a 4.00 grade-point average majoring in agricultural economics. “I don’t think there are very many things in the world that are more likely to improve an individual’s quality of life than getting a college degree. If you want to get on the fast track of success, the first thing to do in life is to get educated.”
NDSU's Elite 90 Award Winners
2011 - Amy Anderson, women's golf
2011 - Whitney Carlson, women's outdoor track and field
2013 - Esley Thorton, football
2014 - Carson Wentz, football
2015 - Carson Wentz, football
2016 - Carson Wentz, football
2016 - Clay Ream, wrestling
2017 - Clay Ream, wrestling
2018 - Daniel Polansky, football
2018 - Clay Ream, wrestling
2019 - Ben Ellefson, football
2020 - Jackson Hankey, football
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