(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / May 12, 2018) – Spring commencement ceremonies are happening at Oklahoma State this weekend and 13 members of the Cowboy football team will graduate as part of the festivities. Included on the list are the school’s all-time leading scorer, Ben Grogan and the school’s all-time leading receiver, James Washington. 

With this fresh batch of graduates added to those who had previously graduated from OSU, a total of 25 players from last year’s 10-win team have earned their OSU degree, and that does not count Aaron Cochran, who graduated from California before transferring to OSU and playing for the Cowboys last season. 

Since Mike Gundy took over as head coach in 2005, 294 OSU football players have earned their degree. 

The list of graduates from the 2017 team, which includes those who held their degrees before this weekend. Those who graduate this weekend are listed in BOLD.

Britton Abbott – Marketing (his second degree)

Gyasi Akem – Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Geography

Marcell Ateman – University Studies/Agriculture and Agricultural Leadership (double degree)

Dawson Bassett – University Studies/Education

Keenen Brown – University Studies/Education

Taylor Cornelius – Management and Marketing with a minor in Sports Management

Zach Crabtree – Sports Management

Darius Curry – University Studies/Education with a minor Educational Psychology

Tre Flowers – Management with minors in Sports Management and Marketing

Lemaefe Galea’i – University Studies/Education

Ben Grogan* – Geology with a minor in Geography

Matt Hockett – Zoology (his second degree)

Ben Hughes – University Studies/Education with a minor in Educational Psychology

Luke Hupp – University Studies/Arts and Sciences

Malik Kearse – University Studies/Education

Chris Lacy – Industrial Engineering and Management

Vili Leveni – Management and Marketing (double degree) with a minor in Sports Management

Brad Lundblade – Marketing and Management (double degree) with a minor in Sports Management

Josh Mabin – Industrial Engineering and Management

Cole McKnight – Nutritional Sciences/Allied Health

Jerel Morrow – Entrepreneurship (his third degree) with a minor in Sports Management

DeQuinton Osborne – University Studies/Education

Mason Rudolph – Marketing

James Washington – Farm and Ranch Management

Tralund Webber – University Studies/Education

Chad Whitener – Second degree in Multidisciplinary Studies/Education with minors in Educational Psychology and Sports Management (received his degree in Management in Dec of 2016)

Larry Williams – University Studies/Education

* Grogan exhausted his eligibility in 2016.

The 2017 Cowboy football team is one of the most accomplished in school history in terms of academic recognition. Three of Oklahoma State’s offensive starters were named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America team, with center Brad Lundblade and running back Justice Hill earning first team honors and Cowboy Back Britton Abbott claiming a spot on the second team.

OSU was the only Power Five conference football team with two CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team honorees in 2017, and was also the only Power Five team with three selections to either the first or second teams.

With a school-record three CoSIDA Academic All-America honorees in 2017, the Oklahoma State football program has now been recognized with 20 CoSIDA Academic All-America honors all-time, including five in the past five years.

The Cowboy football program led the Big 12 and set a school record with 20 first-team Academic All-Big 12 selections in 2017. The three highest totals for first-team Academic All-Big 12 selections in Oklahoma State football history have come in the last three seasons, as OSU had 13 players honored in 2015, 12 honored in 2016 and 20 honored in 2017.

OSU’s 25 overall Academic All-Big 12 selections in 2017 broke the existing program record of 22, set in 2015, and the Cowboys’ 66 overall Academic All-Big 12 honorees the last three years ranks OSU second in the league during that time span, behind only Kansas State.

Additionally, the Cowboy football program’s 2015-16 Academic Progress Rate of 974 and its multi-year rate of 953 both represent the highest it has achieved since the APR was implemented in 2003. The 2016-17 multi-year rate was an improvement over the previous year for the fourth consecutive year, with 2017-18 data yet to be released.

More academic notes from Oklahoma State football during Mike Gundy’s tenure as Oklahoma State head coach:


  • Three Cowboy football players have been honored as Outstanding Seniors of Significance by the OSU Alumni Association (top one percent of their graduating class) - Darnell Smith in 2006, B.J. O’Connor in 2007 and Seb Clements in 2008.
  • In 2017, Brad Lundblade was selected to serve a three-year tenure as a Big 12 representative for the Division I autonomy governance. Also in 2017, he was a finalist for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy, which is also known as the Academic Heisman.
  • Since the National Football Foundation created the Hampshire Honor Society in 2007 to recognize college football players with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better for the duration of their collegiate career, nine Cowboys have earned that recognition, with four being honored in 2014 (Clint Chelf, Caleb Lavey, Charlie Moore and Connor Sinko).
  • A pair of Cowboy football players have earned the Big 12 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award (minimum of 100 hours of class credit with a cumulative grade point average of 3.80 at the time of the nomination)  – Jared Glover in 2011 and Ryan Lester in 2015.
  • In 2007, Darnell Smith earned a Big 12 postgraduate scholarship. Anthony Hill secured that same scholarship in 2011.
  • Four times since 2005 has a football player been honored as OSU’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year. In 2007, it was Darnell Smith. In 2011, it was Brandon Weeden. In 2013, it was Clint Chelf and in 2018, it was Britton Abbott.
  • The Cowboys have earned five CoSIDA Academic All-America honors under Mike Gundy – Darnell Smith in 2006, Caleb Lavey in 2013, Brad Lundblade in 2016 and again in 2017, Justice Hill in 2017 and Britton Abbott in 2017.
  • Since 2005, 173 players have earned Academic All-Big 12 recognition, including a school-record 25 honorees in 2017 and 22 honorees in 2015.
  • In 2006, Donovan Woods was chosen to represent Oklahoma State at the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference. In 2011, Richetti Jones participated at the NCAA Regional Leadership Conference.
  • Since 2005, the OSU football team has produced 40 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars, an award which honors student-athletes of color with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher, including three Arthur Ashe scholars in 2018 – Justice Hill, Chris Lacy and Kirk Tucker.
  • OSU has had three winners of the Chick-Fil-A Community of Champions Award – Darnell Smith in 2006, Andrew Lewis in 2009 and Brandon Weeden in 2011. The award honors student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 grade point average who are also active in helping their community and in leadership/sportsmanship.

Five Gundy-era players earned national recognition for significantly improving their grade point average, as Jeremy Smith (2012), Desmond Roland (2015) Marcell Ateman (2016), Vincent Taylor (2017) and James Washington (2018) were all presented with the National Academic Momentum award.