The award is in its fifth year of existence and is given to one outstanding NCAA Division I collegiate football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.
Mastrud, the only finalist from the Big 12 Conference, was also named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, and was a semifinalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy).
A team captain and player representative for the 2009 season, Mastrud is a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), while he has earned First Team Academic All-Big 12 accolades twice in his career. Last year, Mastrud was named Academic All-District VII before becoming the 17th player in school history to be named an Academic All-American.
The Beaverton, Ore., native has also been heavily involved in community service work through SAAC as he has participated in various programs such as Cats for Cans, Read to Achieve, Walkin' With a Wildcat and Adopt-a-Family. He also helped area residents with cleanup after a devastating tornado hit the Manhattan community in June 2008.
One of the most consistent players for K-State over his four-year career, Mastrud has played in 45 of a possible 46 games in a Wildcat uniform, while he has started a team-best 23 straight games. The senior has also caught at least one pass in each of the last 25 games, the second longest streak by a Wildcat since 1990.
This season, Mastrud has 18 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown, while he became the third tight end in school history to top the 1,000-yard career receiving mark. He also has 103 career receptions, which ranks 11th in school history, but tops among tight ends.
To qualify for the ARA Sportsmanship Award, an athlete must be a starting player of significant contributor on his team; be an athlete in good academic standing; demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches; show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously; convey a high degree of humility and integrity; and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.
The 2009 Sportsmanship Award recipient will be chosen from one of the 10 finalists and announced in December.
"As the only national award that recognizes an athlete's character and leadership as it translates to sportsmanship, the ARA Sportsmanship Award was created five years ago to shed light on these positive traits," said Glenn Beckworth, president of the ARA.
"We're uncovering some of the finest players the sport has to offer," added LaVell Edwards, former Brigham Young head football coach and chairman for the committee. "These young men have a common thread of positive attitude, strong work ethic and sense of fair play that is translated to their conduct on and off the playing field."
2009 ARA SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD FINALISTS
Russel Fisher, Saint Francis
JERON MASTRUD, KANSAS STATE
Adam Rundh, Valparaiso