The Big Ten leads all conferences with eight candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to a senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The Big Ten's eight nominees are twice as many as any other conference. Big Ten candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award are Illinois' Jeff Allen, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Nebraska's Jared Crick, Northwestern's Dan Persa, Ohio State's Michael Brewster, Penn State's Nate Stupar, Purdue's Joe Holland and Wisconsin's Aaron Henry. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award was first presented in the sport of football in 2008 with the Buckeyes' James Laurinaitis earning the honor. The Nittany Lions' Stefen Wisniewski was a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award last season. The 30 candidates for the 2011 laurel will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season.