This has been a pretty rough week around here, what with Saturday's loss against Oregon State (which I've pretty much begun to exclusively refer to as "Saturday's mess") and Jim Walden's ill-advised comments about the people who fund his paycheck.
So let's take a minute to highlight a little awesomeness: Wide receiver Jared Karstetter was named a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete yesterday, an honor which carries an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and makes him eligible for another $7,000 if he wins the top award.
Karstetter hasn't had the kind of year we all would have hoped on the field -- and I know for a fact he feels worse about it than anyone -- but these guys think and feel and have lives after they graduate, and it's very cool that Karstetter has won this award. I'm proud to call him a Coug.
Karstetter apparently has aspirations to become a dentist. Did you know he also is doing research on the correlation between neck strength and concussions in athletes? Yup, smarter than you.
Full details on the award from WSU after the jump.
Karstetter is the fifth Cougar to earn the prestigious honor, as Alex Brink (2007), Jason Hanson (1991), Ed Tingstad (1988) and Greg Porter (1982) were also named National Scholar-Athletes.
Karstetter, one of 16 finalists from a group of 127 semifinalists, is being recognized for accomplishments in the classroom, on the field and in the community. He will be honored during the NFF's 54th Annual Awards Dinner, Dec. 6, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.
Hailing from Spokane, Wash., Karstetter earned Pac-10 All-Academic First Team honors in 2010 and Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2009. A three-time WSUCougars.com Student-Athlete of the Week, he is a President's Honor Roll member, a member of the WSU Athletics All-Academic Team from 2008-10, and he was named a Cougar Academic Top 50 Scholar-Athlete for 2010-11. Karstetter is a member of the WSU Honors College and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He was a First Team All-Academic District VIII honoree as a junior.
Quickly climbing Washington State's record book, Karstetter ranks eighth in school history with 136 career grabs, and he is tied for seventh with 16 touchdown catches. In 2011, he is third on the squad with 30 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns for the Cougars. A two-time Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 pick, Karstetter grabbed 62 passes for 658 yards with seven touchdowns as a junior, and hauled in 38 passes for 540 yards and six scores as a sophomore.
Karstetter, a zoology major who intends to become a dentist, is in the process of submitting a senior thesis study on the correlation between neck strength and concussions among athletes. He has also served as a microbiology lab intern where he performed gel electrophoreses and protein purification. Karstetter is a peer academic counselor at WSU, a frequent visitor at Shriner's Children's Hospital, a Reading Buddies and Hoopfest volunteer and an assistant with Butch's Bash Christmas party for local children.