U Of I Commencement Includes 24 Graduates From Illini Football

 
U of I Athletic Director Josh Whitman and student-athletes in the 2016 graduating class.

U of I Athletic Director Josh Whitman poses with student-athletes in the 2016 graduating class.

Fighting Illini Sports

For the last four years, encountering Mason Monheim was risky - you might lose a tooth trying to scamper past the hard-hitting linebacker. But in the future, you might want to see Doctor Monheim for your dental problems.

Over the weekend, Monheim received a degree in Community Health, and now it’s off to dental school at Ohio State. Last Thursday, the Big Ten Conference awarded him a $7,500 scholarship toward that degree.

Graduates receiving diplomas at the University of Illinois Urbana campus over the weekend included 119 student-athletes. Two of them from each Big Ten school received the $7,500 postgraduate scholarship awards from the conference. 

Recipients maintained a minimum 3.2 grade-point-average, “demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program.”

Swimmer Stephanie Hein is Illinois’ other recipient. She’ll pursue a Master’s degree in Teaching & Learning at the University of Michigan, with a focus in STEM Education.

Of the 119 Illini athletes who walked this weekend, 24 of them are former or current football players. Including last December and this coming August’s commencement ceremonies, 42 football players will have graduated from the U of I this academic year.

Illini Football Graduation Facts

• 42 football players will earn degrees in 2015-16

• 10 of the 42 are on the current 2016 roster, meaning they’ll already have degrees when they play in 2016

• 9 of the 42 earned a master’s degree or second bachelor’s degree

• 3 of the 42 played pro ball and came back to finish their degrees
» Michael Hoomanawanui (Illinois 2006-09) – current New Orleans Saint
» Kyle Hudson (Illinois 2005-08) – Illini dual-sport star and former Baltimore Oriole
» Corey Liuget (Illinois 2008-10) – current San Diego Charger

• All 6 new Illini in the NFL will have at least one degree
» Geronimo Allison (Packers)
» V’Angelo Bentley (Patriots)
» Josh Ferguson (Colts)
» Clayton Fejedelem (Bengals)
» Ted Karras (Patriots)
» Jihad Ward (Raiders)

• In the last two years, 80 football players have earned degrees
» 42 in 2015-16
» 38 in 2014-15

• Football degrees by year (since 2012)
» 2012 – 15
» 2013 – 16
» 2014 – 21
» 2015 – 38
» 2016 – 42

2015-16 Illinois Football Graduates (Name Followed By Major)

December 2015 (7)

Geronimo Allison -- Communication

Rob Bain -- Communication

Martize Barr -- Communication

Josh Ferguson -- Kinesiology

Eric Finney -- Human Development & Family Studies

Michael Martin -- Mechanical Engineering

Cameron Tucker -- Political Science

May 2016 (24)

Taylor Barton -- Communication

B.J. Bello -- Community Health

Jesse Chadwell -- Communication

Ryan Frain -- Kinesiology

Justin Hardee -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Zach Hirth -- Kinesiology

Michael Hoomanawanui -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Kyle Hudson -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Ted Karras -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Jevaris Little -- Sociology

Corey Liuget -- Sociology

Nelson Lugo -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Wes Lunt -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Mason Monheim -- Community Health

T.J. Neal -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Chris O’Connor -- Agricultural Leadership & Education (2nd degree)

Leslie Poole -- Accountancy (Master’s)

David Reisner -- Advertising

Joe Spencer -- Finance

Tyrin Stone-Davis -- Communication

Mike Svetina -- Finance

LaKeith Walls -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Sean White --  Civil Engineering

Taylor Zalewski -- Technology Management (Master’s)

August 2016 (11)

Raphael Barr -- Communication

V’Angelo Bentley -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Tim Clary -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Cedric Doxy -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Henry Enyenih -- Communication

Joe Fotu -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Davontay Kwaaning -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Marchie Murdock -- Communication

Kenny Nelson -- Recreation, Sport and Tourism (Master’s)

Teko Powell -- Sociology

Jihad Ward --  Recreation, Sport and Tourism – Sport Management

Story source: WILL