Michigan State senior quarterback and Holland native Kirk Cousins has been given the senior CLASS award for 2011.
Cousins was awarded the trophy Thursday while the Spartans were preparing for the Outback bowl against SEC opponent Georgia.
The Senior CLASS Award stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.
The award is chosen by a nationwide vote of college football coaches and recognizes the most outstanding senior student-athlete in the FBS.
The nominees must all have notable achievements in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition.
Cousins was already recognized before the season even started. His Big Ten luncheon speech on opening day received a standing ovation and became a YouTube sensation.
In a statement released by Cousins, the young quarterback discusses the meaning of the award.
“I’m very honored to be named the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner,” Cousins said. “This award represents its namesake: class. And anytime you’re associated with something that talks about class, integrity and character, it’s very humbling. To even be in the running for this award, with all of the other amazing student-athletes in this country, and their impressive accomplishments and credentials, is very special. It goes without saying that our coaching staff, my teammates and our program, in general, is a classy organization, and by being around them, it gives me a chance to win an incredible award such as this.”
Cousins has shown the ability to become a role model in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA at MSU, which has earned him a four-time All-Academic Big Ten selection.
He is a leader on the football field too, having become the leader for passing touchdowns and completions in MSU history.
His 64 percent completion rate is the third best in Big Ten history, and he is the second Spartan in history to be voted a three-time captain at MSU.