June 4, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Former Texas RB Chris Ogbonnaya has been honored with a 2008-09 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship, the Big 12 has announced.
Ogbonnaya becomes the fifth member of the Longhorns football team to earn the honor since 2001.
Tabbed second-team Academic All-America by ESPN The Magazine in 2008, Ogbonnaya was recently honored at UT's Academic Awards banquet with the Lan Hewlett Award for the highest cumulative GPA on the team, the Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholarship Award, which is national award that recognizes minority student-athletes who are committed to both education and athletics, and the Texas Exes Leadership Award, in addition to being a member of the Athletics Director's Honor Roll for a 3.0 GPA or better. He has completed two undergraduate degrees at Texas and is currently taking classes in graduate school for advertising.
Ogbonnaya appeared in 47 games at running back and on special teams during his career before being selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He carried the ball 140 times for 597 yards (4.3 ypc) and eight TDs and made 75 receptions (No. 3 on UT's all-time list for RBs) for 792 yards (No. 3 on UT's all-time list for RBs) and three TDs in that span.
A Draddy Trophy (Academic Heisman) semifinalist and honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2008, Ogbonnaya appeared in all 13 games, starting seven last season. He carried the ball 74 times for 373 yards (5.0 ypc) and four TDs and recorded 46 receptions (No. 1 on UT's single-season receptions list for RBs) for 540 yards (No. 2 on UT's single-season list for RBs) and three TDs, including a 65-yard TD reception at Colorado (No. 7 on UT's longest reception by a RB list).
The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former Big 12 Conference staff member and student services' pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 225 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased scholarship award winners to two per member institution.
To date, the Big 12 has provided $1,385,600 for postgraduate education. The individual grants began at $2,500 in 1996-97, were raised to $5,000 in 1999, increased to $6,900 for 2004-05 and climbed to $7,500 in 2006-07.
Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, participation in at least two years of intercollegiate athletics at the nominee's respective institution and completion of athletics' eligibility. The student-athletes also must graduate from their respective member institutions within 15 months of their selection for a postgraduate scholarship and are expected to enroll in graduate/professional schools within two years of graduation. Three faculty representatives, one senior woman administrator and one director of athletics form the selection panel for the awards.