Scheelhaase Rakes in Honors
Nov. 20, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was recently named one of 12 finalists for the Wuerffel Award and also was named as a member of the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. The Wuerffel Award is given annually to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Handed out since 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy has quickly become one of college football's premier postseason awards. The list of winners includes the inaugural winner, Rudy Niswanger of LSU, Texas DE Sam Acho, and USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who said a year ago that "this is quite an honor. Any time you can get your name associated with Danny Wuerffel and the other winners, it's incredible."
Scheelhaase is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a 2012 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar who completed his bachelor's degree in communication in three-and-a-half years. He will finish his master's degree in recreation, sport and tourism in December. He is also a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, which 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. As an Academic All-District honoree, he is now a candidate for Academic All-America honors.
Scheelhaase was named a team captain as a sophomore and has shown great leadership on and off the field throughout his career. He is very active in the community, doing everything from hosting local elementary students on a campus tour to participating in a pen pal program with a student in a Chicago elementary school. He has helped host members of the Challenger League, a local baseball league for kids with disabilities, visited the Danville Correctional Center and participated in the Decatur Illini Club's annual corn roast, among a host of other activities. He also is very involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Stone Creek Church in Urbana, Ill., and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which helps with Chicago area youth.
On the field, Scheelhaase is having a career year. He leads the Big Ten in total offense, passing yards and completions, and is on the verge of becoming just the 10th player in Big Ten history with 10,000-plus total yards in a career. He needs to average 299 yards per game over the last two games to finish his career as Illinois' career total offense record holder. On the season, Scheelhaase has completed 232-of-355 passes for 2,708 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 197 yards and four more touchdowns.
Scheelhaase and the Illini travel to Purdue on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 11 a.m, before closing out the season at home on Nov. 30 against in-state rival Northwestern.