North Dakota State backup quarterback Carson Wentz won the NCAA Elite 89 award presented at the NCAA Division I football championship banquet Friday, Jan. 3, at the Frisco Convention Center.
The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships. Wentz, a sophomore from Bismarck, N.D., has a 4.0 GPA in physical education.
An award founded by the NCAA, the Elite 89 recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
Wentz is the fourth North Dakota State student-athlete to earn the award. He joins women's golfer Amy Anderson and women's track and field competitor Whitney Carlson, who each won at the 2011 national championships, as well as linebacker Esley Thorton, who was the 2013 football championship game recipient.
Wentz has appeared in 11 games off the bench for NDSU this season. He has completed 22 of 30 passes (73 percent) for 209 yards and one touchdown. Wentz has played in 19 career games going 34 of 46 for 353 yards and three TDs and zero interceptions.
Top-seeded North Dakota State (14-0) faces No. 7 seed Towson (13-2) in the NCAA Division I football championship game at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The Bison have won the last two NCAA titles.