Drew Brown earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in three-and-half years while starting all four seasons for the Huskers as one of the top place-kickers in school history.
Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

38 Huskers to Earn Degrees

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln - A total of 38 Husker student-athletes earned degrees Saturday morning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s commencement exercises at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

Undergraduate commencement included 14 current or former Nebraska football student-athletes, seven members of the track and field program and six Husker baseball players.

Nebraska volleyball All-American Briana Holman earned her degree before leading the Huskers to the 2017 national championship on the court at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday night.

Current Nebraska men’s basketball guard Anton Gill earned his degree on Saturday morning, before leading the Huskers on the court against Kansas at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday night as well. 

Headlining the list of Husker football graduates was senior place-kicker Drew Brown, along with wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El, defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg, safeties Chris Jones, Joshua Kalu and Kieron Williams and tight ends Tyler Hoppes and Connor Ketter. Brett Classen, Erik Evans, David Knevel, Luke McNitt, AJ Natter and Adam Taylor rounded out the list of Husker football student-athletes receiving degrees Saturday.

The six student-athletes from Coach Darin Erstad’s baseball program were led by four Huskers who helped the Big Red to the 2017 Big Ten regular-season title, including Brady Childs, Jake McSteen, Ben Miller and Jake Schleppenbach. Former Huskers Max Knutson and Charlie Shirek also earned their degrees. 

Coach Gary Pepin’s seven graduates from the track and field program were led by 2017 Nebraska Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year Drew Wiseman and Tierra Williams. Wiseman was a six-time All-American on the track and the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. He was a two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American and a two-time NCAA Elite 90 Award recipient. Williams was a five-time All-American and four-time Big Ten champion in the horizontal jumps for the Huskers during her career. Reilly Lambrecht, Zach Legband, Alexandra Meyer, Jake Nelson and Bonnie Smith round out the list of Nebraska track and field student-athletes claiming degrees.

Coach Bill Straub’s bowling program added a pair of All-Americans to the list of graduates, as three-time All-American Gazmine Mason and All-American Briana Zabierek earned their degrees. Mason and Zabierek helped the Huskers to four consecutive NCAA Championship match appearances, including the 2015 NCAA title during their Husker careers.

Coach John Walker’s Husker soccer program added a trio of graduates with Emilee Cincotta, Helena Ferraz and Amanda McClanahan, while Coach Rhonda Revelle’s softball team contributed Cassie McClure and Lotte Sjulin. Erin Oeltjen (Swimming & Diving) and Spurti Shivalingaiah (Women’s Tennis) rounded out the group of 2017 December graduates for the Huskers.

The December graduates came from near and far to call Nebraska home during their careers. The group came to Lincoln from 14 states, including 15 native Nebraskans, while three Huskers came from foreign lands, including Brazil, Canada and India. Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the country, while leading the nation in the number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (330) and NCAA Top 10 Award winners (17) across all sports.

December 2017 Nebraska Student-Athlete Graduates (38)
Student-Athlete (Sport) Hometown (Major)

  • Drew Brown (Football) Southlake, Texas (Supply Chain Management)
  • Brady Childs (Baseball) Overland Park, Kan. (Supply Chain Management)
  • Emilee Cincotta (Soccer) Tigard, Ore. (Economics/Finance)
  • Brett Classen (Football) Medina, Minn. (Nutrition Science)
  • Erik Evans (Football) Waverly, Neb. (Marketing)
  • Helena Ferraz (Soccer) Campinas, Brazil (Marketing)
  • Anton Gill (Men’s Basketball) Raleigh, N.C. (Communication Studies)
  • Briana Holman (Volleyball) DeSoto, Texas (Criminology & Criminal Justice)
  • Tyler Hoppes (Football) Lincoln, Neb. (Sociology)
  • Chris Jones (Football) Jacksonville, Fla. (Sociology)
  • Joshua Kalu (Football) Houston, Texas (Child, Youth & Family Studies)
  • Connor Ketter (Football) Norfolk, Neb. (Nutrition Science)
  • David Knevel (Football) Brantford, Ontario, Canada (History)
  • Max Knutson (Baseball) Arden Hills, Minn. (Communication Studies)
  • Reilly Lambrecht (Track & Field) Loup City, Neb. (Agribusiness)
  • Zach Legband (Track & Field) Omaha, Neb. (Mathematics)
  • Gazmine Mason (Bowling) Cranston, R.I. (Business Administration)
  • Amanda McClanahan (Soccer) Papillion, Neb. (Nutrition Science)
  • Cassie McClure (Softball) Kingwood, Texas (Child, Youth & Family Studies)
  • Luke McNitt (Football) Kearney, Neb. (Management)
  • Jake McSteen (Baseball) Great Falls, Va. (Supply Chain Management)
  • Alexandra Meyer (Track & Field) Superior, Neb. (Social Science Education)
  • Ben Miller (Baseball) Clive, Iowa (Accounting)
  • AJ Natter (Football) Milton, Wis. (Management/Marketing)
  • Jake Nelson (Track & Field) Omaha, Neb. (Marketing)
  • Erin Oeltjen (Swimming & Diving) Omaha, Neb. (Biochemistry)
  • De’Mornay Pierson-El (Football) Alexandria, Va. (Communication Studies)
  • Jake Schleppenbach (Baseball) Lincoln, Neb. (Criminology & Criminal Justice)
  • Charlie Shirek (Baseball) Minot, N.D. (Economics)
  • Spurti Shivalingaiah (Women’s Tennis) Bangalore, India (Economics)
  • Lotte Sjulin (Softball) Omaha, Neb. (Biological Sciences)
  • Bonnie Smith (Cross Country/Track & Field) Omaha, Neb. (Elementary Education)
  • Mick Stoltenberg (Football) Gretna, Neb. (Management)
  • Adam Taylor (Football) Katy, Texas (Business Administration)
  • Kieron Williams (Football) Shreveport, La. (Advertising & Public Relations)
  • Tierra Williams (Track & Field) Auburn, Neb. (Child, Youth & Family Studies)
  • Drew Wiseman (Track & Field) Bismarck, N.D. (Electrical Engineering)
  • Briana Zabierek (Bowling) Lockport, Ill. (Nutrition Science/Nutrition, Exercise & Health Science)


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