Michigan State's Kirk Cousins has been selected as the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Cousins is the second Big Ten standout to earn the honor after Ohio State's James Laurinaitis won the first Senior CLASS Award in 2008. Cousins was also named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American, while Northwestern's Dan Persa was tabbed as a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-American.
The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Cousins carries a 3.684 cumulative grade point average and graduated this month with a degree in kinesiology. He is a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. The Holland, Mich., native is only the second three-time captain in the 115-year history of Spartan football. One of Michigan State's most involved student-athletes, Cousins has participated in numerous community initiatives. He has volunteered on the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, and he has spoken to countless church and youth organizations. He was also a member of the 2010 Allstate Good Works Team as selected by the American Football Coaches Association and was a two-time finalist for the Wuerrfel Trophy, which honors the college football player who combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
Cousins holds school records for passing touchdowns (65) and completions (696). He has completed more than 64 percent of his passes for his career - a mark that is No. 1 in Michigan State history and No. 3 in the Big Ten record books. Heading into the Outback Bowl, Cousins had compiled a 26-12 mark as the starting quarterback, including a 21-5 mark his junior and senior seasons.