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Prestigious Honor: SU's Nassib named 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete

Ryan Nassib

Every day Syracuse University senior quarterback Ryan Nassib takes off his helmet and shoulder pads and puts on his backpack to head to his graduate accounting classes. On December 4th, Nassib will trade in his football and class apparel for black-tie attire to be honored as a 2012National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete at the National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The prestigious award, presented by Fidelity Investments, honors Nassib for excelling in the classroom, leading the Orange football team and staying involved in various community activities.

"It means a lot to be honored as a NFF National Scholar-Athlete," Nassib said. "It’s a great honor to be able to get an award from such a renowned foundation. I'm happy that I was able to get the award for my team and my school. It's quite an honor to be recognized like this."

Nassib is one of 15 members of the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class who were chosen from a nationwide pool from all divisions of college football. As a NFF National Scholar-Athlete, Nassib is now a candidate for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the absolute best scholar-athlete in college football. Each of the NFF Scholar-Athletes receive a scholarship to assist with tuition for graduate school. 

“To me, this is one of the most prestigious awards in all of college athletics,” said Syracuse Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “We are so proud of all of Ryan's accomplishments on and off the field. He continues to be an incredible leader on the field as one of our most prolific passers in school history, and at the same time maintains the highest level of academic performance. This is the model we have in place and want all of our student athletes to strive to achieve.”

Nassib is the fifth member of the Orange to be honored as a NFF Scholar-Athlete. The elite group includes offensive tackle Mark Baniewicz (1999), defensive tackle Tim Green (1985), linebacker Tony Romano (1983) and halfback Gerhard Schwedes (1959).

“This honor is a credit to Ryan’s discipline, dedication and determination,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “We applaud his effort and commitment to academic achievement, which he also brings to the football field and to our community. He is an outstanding leader with incredible focus. We appreciate the way he represents our program, our University and college football.”

For someone who has etched his name in multiple places in the SU football record book, it is an outstanding feat that Nassib has excelled in the class room, as well. Nassib graduated in May from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in May with a dual undergraduate degree in finance and managerial accounting and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in accounting. A 2010 ESPN Academic All-District Team selection, Nassib is also a four-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team honoree and has been on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Whitman School of Management Dean's List every year.

"Everything that I do through school and the community, a lot of it stems from the football field," Nassib said. "The team really gives me the structure that I need to manage my time right so I can get my academics done. They gave me the opportunities to go out into the community and volunteer and do a lot of that stuff that's life fulfilling. I do have a lot of fun in class and the team gives me a great chance to go out into the community and meet some great people. I'm thankful for that."

When he is not out on the practice field or working on school work, Nassib also finds time to volunteer within his community. He has served on the SU Football Team Leadership Council since 2009 and has interned each summer with an investment broker. He also volunteers at the Onondaga County Justice Center as well as the Salvation Army and Benderson Ida Senior Center.

"I have to give thanks to the football program because they are really the ones who put me on track with the scheduling and to get my management skills in order," Nassib said. "They give me the opportunity to do community service and have those opportunities fit into my football schedule."

Syracuse will be well represented that the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which is held at the Waldorf-Astoira on Dec. 4 in New York City. Nassib will join SU legend and College Football Hall of Fame honoree Art Monk at the awards presentation. A 1979 All-American, Monk is one of 14 players and three coaches who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Monk will be Syracuse's 18th member of the NFF College Football Hall of Fame.

"It's going to mean a lot to have both myself and Art Monk there," Nassib said. "I can only imagine the benefit it might have when it comes to the program, in terms of recruiting. Just being able to represent my school at something like this is definitely something special."

On the field, Nassib's senior season has been nothing short of impressive. The West Chester, Pa. native continues to add to his school-record for completions, which he broke in the beginning of the 2012 season. He has thrown 57 career touchdown passes which ranks second in SU history. Nassib has 2,164 passing yards which ties him for eighth on SU's single season passing yards list. His 309.7 yards per game ranks ninth in the nation and leads the BIG EAST. He leads the league with four 300-yards passing performances. He ranks 11th national in completions per game (25.1) and is 12th nationally and leads the BIG EAST in total offense (322.1 yards/game).

The Orange has back-to-back road games at South Florida (Oct. 27) followed by the game at Cincinnati (Nov. 3) before returning to the Carrier Dome for a Homecoming contest against Louisville on November 10. Tickets are available online (, in person at the Carrier Dome Box Office (Gate B), or by calling 1-888-DOMETIX.

By Brittany McCormick, Syracuse University Athletic Communications
Photo credit: Syracuse University Athletics