ATLANTA, Ga. -- Senior quarterback Jared Henning was again recognized for his work on the field and in the community after being selected as a semifinalist for the 2020 Wooden Citizenship Cup. He is one of 27 semifinalists chosen from every division and conference in college sports.
The Wooden Citizenship Cup, now in its 16th year, is given to the most outstanding role models among athletes among all levels of athletics, including high school, collegiate, Olympic and professional sports.
Henning was selected as a semifinalist for his contribution to the Bemidji State football team and as a role model around the Bemidji community.
Henning has been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) since his freshman year in 2015, eventually becoming Vice President in 2016 and President in 2017. He is in charge of a variety of projects including the organization of the Mr. Beaver Homecoming Competition on campus, leading a campaign that raised over $17,000 for a local child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through fundraisers, Halloween in the BSU dorms and the presentation of Mental Health Awareness/Sexual Violence Prevention presentations. Henning also established other projects within the community such as Beaver Fever Fridays, in which student-athletes read to elementary students, and babysitting on Valentine’s Day over the past two years. As a leader in SAAC, Henning also attends the NSIC SAAC Summit once a year to take part in community outreach, participate in leadership conventions and discuss the NSIC as a whole.
“Besides demonstrating daily selflessness, Jared is the highest character young man I have ever met in my life,” Head Women’s Basketball Coach, SAAC Liaison, and Senior Women’s Administrator Chelsea DeVille said. “It is an honor to know him. He is a man who makes everyone around him better, including his coaches and administrators.”
During the Fall of 2018, Henning was selected as one of 22 members of the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, which includes football student-athletes from NCAA Division I FBS and FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA programs. The team celebrates the student-athletes’ commitment to making a lasting impact off the field. As part of a trip to New Orleans to be honored as a member of the team, Henning was one of 100 volunteers that helped with the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s service project at a local grade school.
Henning serves as the male student-athlete representative for BSU Athletics in regard to Title IX discussions on campus. He is also a lead member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Since Henning has joined FCA, the meetings have grown from 10-15 students per week to over 60.
“Jared has led our football program’s FCA presence within our own program and conducts our team prayers before and after each contest,” Head Football Coach Brent Bolte said. “On (football’s) senior day, we had over 150 players from BSU and the opposing team at midfield listening to Jared’s message, one of the more remarkable things I have witnessed as a coach.”
During his football career, Henning has played in 34 career games with the Beavers and is part of the program’s winningest senior class with 32 victories since 2016. Through his career on the field, Henning has totaled 981 passing yards, 670 rushing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns, a completion percentage of .568 and a passing efficiency of 124.3.
Henning has earned three Fall All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Academic Team selections, including two nods to the All-Academic Team of Excellence. He became a member of Sigma Beta Delta at BSU for his academic success and has been on the Dean’s List throughout his entire academic career.
The four finalists for the award include Ryan Culhane of University of Dayton, Claire Kolff of Denison University, Trent Forrest of Florida State University and Bria Matthews of Georgia Tech. The 2020 collegiate Wooden Cup recipient, selected from the four finalists, will be announced at the awards ceremony hosted in Atlanta later this spring.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all high school, collegiate, Olympic, and professional sports.
John Wooden, who won 10 national championships during the years 1964-75 as basketball coach at UCLA, is commonly regarded as the greatest coach of any sport who ever lived. Universally regarded as one fo the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard. When Coach Wooden learned about ABW, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award, and he attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented the four distinguished athletes, on collegiate, one professional or Olympic, and a male and female from the high school ranks, for their character and leadership both on and off the field.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).