"This group of student-athletes has excelled both on the field and in the classroom," said BIG EAST Commissioner Michael Tranghese. "The BIG EAST is extremely proud to honor Jay Henry as this year's BIG EAST/Aéropostale Scholar-Athlete of the Year."
Henry, a Tulsa, Okla. native, is a standout both on and off the field at West Virginia. A two-year starter at middle linebacker and a team captain this past season for the Mountaineers , he has played in four straight New Year's bowl games, including wins in the Nokia Sugar Bowl and Toyota Gator Bowl the past two seasons. Henry finished his WVU career with 181 career tackles, including a career-best 62 tackles as a junior in 2005. In '05, he was a semifinalist for both the Ronnie Lott Trophy which is given annually to the Defensive Impact Player of the Year and the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player "who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement." This past season, he was selected to play in the prestigious Hula Bowl all-star game.
Henry's impressive resume extends into the classroom and the community. Possessing a perfect 4.0 grade point average, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance in May, 2006 and is currently pursuing a second degree in accounting. Henry received ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team accolades in each of the past two years.
This season, he was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the Draddy Trophy. A member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Dean's List in each of his semesters at West Virginia, the senior is a member of the National Honor Society, the Business Honorary Society and the Golden Key Society, as well as Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi. In the community, Henry is active as a speaker to school and youth groups on topics such as work ethic and leadership. He also volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club, the Special Olympics and the WVU Children's Hospital.
It is the second consecutive year a Mountaineer took home the award. Last year, offensive lineman Garin Justice, who served as a graduate assistant for the team in 2006, took home the honors.