WIU's Jimmy Holtschlag Named a NCAA Postgraduate Scholar
April 3, 2014
Senior football player one of 29 selected nationally to receive prestigious award
Courtesy of Western Illinois Athletics
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Western Illinois University Senior Football Player Jimmy Holtschlag (Quincy, IL/Notre Dame) has received numerous athletic and academic awards throughout his career. He will now add to the already impressive list one of the most prestigious honors given out by the NCAA.
Holtschlag, an agriculture major, was one of 58 (29 men/29 women) nationally selected to receive a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Western's previous Postgraduate Scholar was Justin Langan (football/men's Soccer) in 2005. A total of 357 NCAA student-athletes were nominated.
"I am extremely honored to be receiving this scholarship. The elite company this honor has placed me in is extremely humbling. I need to thank Lisa Melz-Jennings, Dr. Tom Cody, Athletic Director Tommy Bell, Head Football Coach Bob Nielson, Dr. Andrew Baker, Matt Tanney, Patrick Osterman, Coach Mark Hendrickson and so many others for helping me with this nomination process along with helping me become successful in all of my years here at Western Illinois University," said Holtschlag. "Western has been my home for so long and has given me so much that I hope to be able to repay it with my continued success in life."
Currently with a 3.924 cumulative GPA, Holtschlag will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, with minors in chemistry and zoology. Holtschlag plans to attend veterinary school.
"We are extremely proud of Jimmy's accomplishments, both on the field and in the classroom. He epitomizes everything right about being a student-athlete," said Bell. "Jimmy is a worthy recipient of this prestigious NCAA postgraduate award. He has always represented Western Illinois University in a positive way, and will be a great ambassador of the University no matter where his future endeavors may take him."
Holtschlag became just the second Leatherneck football player ever to be named All-Missouri Valley Football Conference and First Team Academic All-MVFC three times. His last three years he was voted to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star team. Holtschlag joined an elite group of Leathernecks when he was voted to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Second Team, only the 11th time in program history a football player earned the distinction.
"Jimmy represents what is truly good about collegiate athletics, the balance of academics and on-the-field success," said Nielson. "He has been a tremendous leader of and role model for Leatherneck Football."
As a redshirt-freshman in 2010, Holtschlag started seven times while playing in all 13 games as the Leathernecks advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I playoffs. He started all 12 games last fall, and finished his career with 40 starts (including 25 consecutive). He helped lead the rebuilding process as the offense scored nearly as many points in 2013 as it did the previous two seasons combined while allowing five fewer sacks (than 2012) while playing one more game.
Western registered eight 100-yard rushing games and overall the offense averaged 114 more yards per game Holtschlag's senior year.
For more information, contact Assistant Athletics Director–Media Services Patrick Osterman at (309) 298-1133 or via email at PR-Osterman@wiu.edu.