Former Michigan State netminder Jeff Lerg will be bestowed the highest honor given to an undergraduate by the NCAA when he is recognized as one of the Association's 2010 Top VIII Award winners at the NCAA Convention in Atlanta next month.
The Today's Top VIII award recognizes current student-athletes who have completed their athletics eligibility for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community. The award is open to all athletes in Divisions I, II, and III, and all sports sponsored by the NCAA. Recipients will be honored January 15 at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration.
Lerg is the second Michigan State athlete to win this prestigious award, joining basketball standout Greg Kelser, who was selected in 1980. He is also just the second ice hockey player to ever be selected. Northern Michigan's Brad Werenka was selected in 1992. Michigan State head coach Rick Comley was Werenka's coach with the Wildcats.
In addition, Michigan State is one of just four Big Ten institutions to have more than one Top VIII winner.
"This is certainly a tremendous honor not only for myself, but also for Michigan State University," noted Lerg when notified of his selection. "I'm obviously humbled, looking at the list of winners and their accomplishments."
The complete list of 2010 Top VIII honorees:
• Amanda Blumenherst, Duke, golf
• Courtney Kupets, Georgia, gymnastics
• Venessa Lee, Pittsburg State, cross country and indoor and outdoor track
• Jeff Lerg, Michigan State, men's ice hockey
• Kent Raymond, Wheaton (Illinois), basketball
• Brittany Rogers, Alabama, softball
• Sarah Stevens, Arizona State, indoor and outdoor track
• Tim Tebow, Florida, football
The Top VIII honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which is composed of eight athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.
Photo - Lerg accepting the MVP trophy after Michigan State won the 2006 CCHA playoff title. (Matt Mackinder/MiCHO)