Awards Action For Braun, Smith

Jeff Braun

West Virginia offensive lineman Jeff Braun is one of 30 nominees for a prestigious national award, while Geno Smith racked up another weekly honor for his showing against James Madison.

Offensive lineman Jeff Braun is up for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award, which is presented to the athlete showing the greatest achievements in both on- and off-field activities.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS 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 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 candidate class 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 exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. ?

West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler won the basketball version of the award in 2010.

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Quarterback Geno Smith has been selected as this week's Manning Award Player of the Week. Smith earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week after earning the most votes in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest this season.

Smith, a native of Miami, Fla., led West Virginia to a 42-12 victory over James Madison on Saturday at FedEx Field. The senior passed for 411 yards, becoming the Mountaineers passing yardage leader. Smith now has as many incompletions as TD passes after two games, which is exactly what former Manning Award winner, Robert Griffin, III accomplished last season. There was not much Smith could have done better as he completed 34 of 39 passes on 11 receptions and threw 5 TDs with 0 interceptions. West Virginia's 569 yards of offense proved to be too much for the Dukes to handle as the Mountaineers are now 13-0 all-time against FCS schools.

This was Smith's first win and third nomination. He was a candidate for the week of Sept. 3rd as well as once last season. The Mountaineers are now looking to go 3-0 as they host Maryland in Morgantown, WV on Saturday.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting. The honor will be recognizing its eighth winner this year.

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