411OnTheForty: Football’s Ehlinger, soccer’s Strouphauer named Big 12 Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year

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Texas midfielder Emily Strouphauer and quarterback Sam Ehlinger were honored for balancing their academic and athletic obligations, earning Big 12 Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year recognition (photos courtesy of texassports.com / graphic by Horns Illustrated).

IRVING/AUSTIN, Texas — Performance on the field has led to Sam Ehlinger and Emily Strouphauer's successful careers as Longhorns. But it was the duo's performances in the classroom that earned them the title of Big 12 Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year.

The awards were announced Tuesday by the Big 12. Ehlinger shared the conference's football award with Iowa State's Kene Nwangwu, while Strouphauer shared the soccer award with Kansas State's Brookelynn Entz.

Ehlinger is just the second Longhorn to be named the conference's football Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year, joining former punter Michael Dickinson, who was honored in 2017. His 3.42 grade point average is justacademic achievements for Ehlinger, who also has been a six-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. He earned a degree from Texas this fall as a marketing major.

A key midfielder for the Longhorns who earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2020, Strouphauer carries a 3.98 GPA, pursing a biology degree and has expressed an interest in going to medical school to pursue a career in psychiatry.

“Emily has epitomized the definition of ‘student-athlete’ since the first moment she stepped foot on the Forty Acres,” Kelly said in a press release issued by the Texas athletics department. “Academics was always a priority, and soccer kept her balanced. Her commitment to both has been tremendous.”

On the pitch, Strouphauer fought through an injury-plagued 2019 season to return strong this past fall. She played 617 minutes, appearing in all nine matches, shooting six times, twice on frame.

It is unclear as to whether Texas (or any other team) will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, set to be held in April of 2021, in part because some teams postponed their seasons to the upcoming spring semester. The Longhorns posted a 4-5 record in a conference-only schedule this fall.

On the field, Ehlinger and his teammates are looking south to San Antonio, where Texas will battle Colorado in the Alamo Bowl next Tuesday.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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