Auburn senior Ryan Pugh been named as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for NCAA football bowl subdivision schools, it was announced Wednesday. 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.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates that was announced in August. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through Dec. 6. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner.
Pugh has excelled on the field, having started 38 games for the Tigers during his career, including all 32 games at center over the past three seasons. He was selected to the Associated Press All-SEC second team following the 2009 season after leading the team with 70 knockdown blocks, and was named a midseason first-team All-American by Phil Steele and second-team All-American by SportsIllustrated.com this week.
In the classroom, Pugh carries a 3.49 grade-point average majoring in building science. He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team following the 2009 season, and is a two-time Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll selectee and a three-time Academic Top Tiger.
Pugh has also been active in the community, volunteering at Camp ASSCA, a camp for disabled children near Auburn. He has also spent time working at Storybook Farm, a theraputic horse riding center, working with the Student-Athlete Advisory Council Toys for Tots campaign and with canned food drives for the East Alabama Food Bank.