|Each month, The University of Texas women's and men's athletic academic/student services staffs select a female and male student-athlete as the Longhorn PRIDE Student-Athlete of the Month. Check back each month to see which student-athletes have been recognized for outstanding work in the classroom and in their sport.
UT Athletics has a comprehensive Life Skills Program committed to the welfare of the student-athlete. The Longhorn PRIDE program (Personal Responsibility in Developing Excellence) has five major components designed to meet the needs of all student-athletes. They are: academic excellence; athletic excellence; career development; community service; and personal development.
6-1 · So.-1L
Elkhart, IN (Elkhart Central HS)
Since her arrival on the Forty Acres in 2002, Leticia Armstrong has blossomed into a successful student-athlete for Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott's volleyball squad.
Last year, Armstrong was the recipient of the UT Women's Athletics Sarah Hengst Endowed Scholarship for her achievements in the classroom. This fall, her volleyball resume has been bolstered with her outstanding play. She ranks among the top 10 players nationally in hitting percentage (.413), and has emerged as one of the Big 12's top players. Armstrong was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on October 24 for her efforts against Texas Tech and Kansas State, where she led the No. 14 ranked Longhorns to key 3-1 wins over both league opponents
Those type of performances has Elliott excited about Armstrong's future with the team.
"Since Leticia arrived, she has grown a lot on the volleyball court and in the classroom," Elliott said. "That's a tribute to our academic student services department and also her determination and willingness to work hard and to succeed. "T" has a very bright future."
Armstrong, an ethnic studies major, cites UT's strong academics as one of the many reasons she chose to don the burnt orange and white.
"The academics were a big factor in my decision to come here," Armstrong said. "I wanted to go to a school where I knew I could achieve my goals athletically and earn my degree. Sometimes it is difficult to balance volleyball and school, but with the great support system we have, it makes it easier to do both."
Armstrong plans to go into teaching after the completion of her degree, which Elliott sees as fitting considering Armstrong's leadership skills and positive attitude.
"Leticia is a natural leader," Elliott said. "Her energy level is the greatest in terms of being able to change the attitude of our team."
Armstrong at a Glance:
· currently ranked in the top 10 nationally and the top five in the Big 12 Conference for hitting percentage
· named the Big 12 Player of the Week on October 24 for her efforts against Texas Tech (10/19) and Kansas State (10/22)
· 2002 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 recruit coming out of high school in Indiana
· works with Austin youth in summer volleyball programs
· 2005 recipient of the UT Women's Athletics Sarah Hengst Young Endowed Scholarship
6-1 · 205 · Sr.-3L
Irving, Texas (Nimitz HS)
As a fifth year player on the No. 2 ranked Texas Longhorns football team, Michael Huff is known for his consistent performances both on the field and in the classroom.
A consensus All-Big 12 selection in football and track & field, Huff is a dedicated youth and a community studies major who has become a symbol for all-around success as a UT student-athlete on the Forty Acres. A former prep track sprinter, Huff has the ability to play any of the defensive backfield positions while also starring in the off-season for the Longhorns track team. He is a three-year starter at strong safety for Mack Brown's football squad.
"Michael is a great student and he has become a tremendous leader on our football team," Brown said.
Huff's academic accolades are numerous, as he has been named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll as well as to the UT Athletic Director's Honor Roll. On the football field, Huff is one of the premier defensive backs in the country. He was named to both the 2005 Nagurski and Thorpe Watch Lists, which award the top defensive player and the best defensive back in the nation, respectively.
Through seven games this year for the undefeated Longhorns, Huff has lived up to that national billing by helping the Longhorns post their 7-0 record by collecting 57 tackles.
Huff's athletic and academic success has not gone unnoticed by his coaches and peers, and Brown is glad to see Huff's commitment to each be recognized.
"Michael has become one of the best defensive backs in UT history and will be a top-round draft choice next year," Brown stated. "He is a great football player, and, I believe, an even better person. Naming him as a student-athlete of the month is much deserved."
Huff is pleased to see his classwork efforts acknowledged, because obtaining his degree has been his primary focus at UT.
"I am honored that my five years of hard work is paying off," Huff said. "That is the primary reason I came to The University of Texas - to get my degree. My parents will be proud of this recognition."
Huff at a Glance:
· member of the 2005 Nagurski Trophy (nation's top defensive player) and Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) watch lists
· listed as the top safety in the country on Mel Kiper's draft board o 2005 preseason Second Team All-America by Street and Smith's
· 2005 preseason First Team All-Big 12 by Athlon, Lindy's and The Sporting News
· competed for the UT track team during the 2005 indoor and outdoor seasons qualifying for NCAA Regionals in the 100m
· Honorable Mention All-America by Pro Football Weekly in 2004
· consensus First Team All-Big 12 selection o Named to the Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) watch list in 2004
· Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll selection
· UT Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll