COLUMBUS – Five members of the Ohio State football team were named to the Big Ten Conference’s list of Distinguished Scholars on Wednesday.
The Buckeyes had 164 athletes earn the honor and is the fifth year in a row Ohio State leads the conference in Distinguished Scholars.
Tight end Luke Farrell and wide receiver C.J. Saunders, as well as walk-ons Zaid Hamdan, Ben Schmiesing, and Ryan Batsch were the Buckeye football players named to this prestigious list.
You can read the full release from Ohio State below.
Five Football Players Are Big Ten Distinguished Scholars
Luke Farrell and Ben Schmiesing among 13 players conference-wide with a 4.0 grade point average
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five members of the Ohio State football team – TE Luke Farrell, WR C.J. Saunders, DL Zaid Hamdan, LB Ben Schmiesing and SAFRyan Batsch – were named to the Big Ten Conference’s prestigious list of Distinguished Scholars today. Student-athletes must maintain at least a 3.70 grade point average for the school year to earn the honor.
In addition, Farrell and Schmiesing were among 13 football players conference-wide to maintain a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the 2019-20 academic year. All five players are first-time honorees.
A rising senior, Farrell is from Perry, Ohio and has 24 career starts, including all 14 games last year for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes. He’s totaled 119 receiving yards in his career with two touchdowns while also blocking for a rushing attack that produced the school’s first-ever 2,000-yard rusher in 2019. He’s majoring in human development and family science.
Saunders, a team captain in 2019, graduated in May of 2019 with his bachelor’s degree in accounting and is currently a graduate student in sports management. He’s played in 23 career games with 27 receptions for 294 yards and one touchdown. From Dublin, Ohio, Saunders was Ohio State’s nominee for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in America, who began his career as a walk-on.
Hamdan is entering his third season with the football program and is majoring in criminology and criminal justice. He’s from Mason, Ohio and a graduate of Mason High School.
Schmiesing has been an OSU Scholar-Athlete in each of his two full years with the program and is a finance major. He’s from Piqua, Ohio.
Batsch, an exploration major, joined the program is the summer of 2018 and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and OSU Scholar-Athlete. He’s a native of Loveland, Ohio.
Ohio State led all conference schools with a record 164 total honorees, surpassing the 131 recognized in 2018-19. This is the fifth consecutive year Ohio State has led the Big Ten in total recipients.