uk logo1 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (9/5/13) – University of Kentucky football senior linebacker Avery Williamson has been named one of 30 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes to the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition – it was announced Wednesday afternoon.

A native of Milan, Tenn., Williamson had a great start to his senior season last weekend in UK’s 2013 season opener, recording a game-high 14 tackles. The double-digit tackle game was the ninth of Williamson’s career. The senior, who has played in 38 career games with 13 starts, finished second in the Southeastern Conference and seventh nationally in tackles last season.
Williamson has earned countless awards in the past few seasons, including All-SEC by Phil Steele’s College Football and last season. So far this season, Williamson is on several watch lists, including 2013 College Football Performance Awards Defense Award Watch List and the Butkus Award Watch List, which honors the nation’s best linebacker. Williamson is also a nominee for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the 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.
Off the field, Williamson has been very involved in community service projects during his three seasons at Kentucky. He traveled to Ethiopia in May of 2013 for a week-long community service trip where he interacted with residents of impoverished communities, visited imprisoned men, helped widows, cared for orphans, and helped renovate houses. He also has participated in “Read Across America” by reading books to children at a local mall, served as a celebrity guest for UK’s largest student-run philanthropy, Dance Blue, which raised more than $1.1 million this year, volunteered for Big Blue U, helped UK freshmen move in their dorms, volunteered to pack and deliver food for God’s Pantry BackPack Program, while also staying to interact with the children at the school, volunteered at Kenneth Kennedy’s “Be a Match” Bone Marrow Donor Drive and was volunteer bell ringer for the Salvation Army. He also frequently volunteers to speak at local elementary schools and summer camps.

Of the 30 candidates, 12 have grade point averages of 3.0 or higher, seven are All-Americans and 12 were all-conference selections in 2012. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. 

2013 Senior CLASS Award Candidates:

Lamin Barrow, LSU
Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Steven Clark, Auburn
Ross Cockrell, Duke
Vincenzo D’Amato, California
Alden Darby, Arizona State
Jake Fischer, Arizona
Andrew Furney, Washington State
Dave Harding, Duke
Greg Heban, Indiana
Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
Will Jackson, Georgia Tech
Jacob Karam, Memphis
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
AJ McCarron, Alabama
Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
Alex Page, South Alabama
Cairo Santos, Tulane
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
Eric Soza, Texas-San Antonio
Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
Will Sutton, Arizona State
Travis Swanson, Arkansas
John Urschel, Penn State
Kyle Van Noy, BYU
Avery Williamson, Kentucky
Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
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