BATON ROUGE - The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes honored six LSU student-athletes as part of their academic achievements and community service for August.
Each month, five student-athletes are recognized for their academic improvement, dedication and proven ability. In addition, one student-athlete is chosen through LSU's Student-Athlete Affairs program for their volunteerism and commitment to the community.
August's student-athletes of the month are Shermund Allsop [Track & Field], Kenny Hilliard [Football], Maliah Mathis [Gymnastics], Jana Ruimerman [Swimming & Diving] and Corey Thompson [Football]. James Hairston [Football] was selected as the Shaquille O'Neal CHAMPS/Student-Athlete Affairs Athlete of the Month.
Allsop is majoring in communications studies, while Hilliard and Mathis are majoring in general studies. Ruimerman is a kinesiology major, while Thompson is undecided in his course of study and Hairston is majoring in finance.
Allsop, a junior sprinter from Plaisance Garden, Trinidad, emerged as a force for the Tigers while running the anchor leg for LSU's national champion 4x100-meter relay team. He anchored the team to its eighth relay crown all-time at the NCAA Championships while teaming with Barrett Nugent, Aaron Ernest and Keyth Talley to run 38.38 seconds for the third-fastest time in school history. Allsop also posted career bests performances in the sprints in 2012 while running times of 10.29 in the 100-meter dash at Trinidad & Tobago's Olympic Trials and 20.71 in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.
A sophomore running back from Patterson, La., Hilliard competed in 13 games during his true freshman season, proving himself to be an asset in the backfield. He tied with Spencer Ware for the team lead with eight rushing touchdowns en route to a spot on the SEC Coaches' All-SEC Freshman Team. Hilliard broke loose for a pair of second half scores during LSU's 42-10 victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Mathis, a junior all-around gymnast from San Antonio, Texas, ranked second on the team in vault, despite battling a foot injury. Over the course of the season, she racked up 14 scores of 9.80 or higher in 21 events, with eight on vault and six on floor.
A senior back/individual medley swimmer from Aurora, Colo., Ruimerman goes into her senior season with accolades including 2011 NCAA Honorable Mention All-American and All-SEC Team, and she was a participant in 2010 USA Swimming National Championships. Ruimerman is also the current LSU Record Holder in the 400 medley relay and competed in the US Olympic Trials this year.
Thompson, a freshman safety from Missouri City, Texas, joins the Tigers in the fall as the No. 18 safety in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 23 safety by ESPN.com. The Scout.com four-star prospect was also a 2011 member of the 5A All-State First Team. Although his first semester wearing Purple and Gold has not begun, he's already donated time and service to the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul as part of the Summer Academic Success Program.
A sophomore placekicker from Dallas, Texas, Hairston proves to be an asset to the Tigers as both kicker and punter. The Jerry Stovall Special Teams Award recipient earned a spot on the 2011 SEC Coaches' All-Freshman Team, as he produced 16 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs. His time on the field does not restrain him from spending time in the community, as he and fellow teammate Cleveland Davis recently visited the residents of Whealdon Estates retirement community. In the upcoming school year, Hairston will serve as football's representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
For putting forth extra effort in the classroom and community in addition to their rigorous academic and competition schedules, these six student-athletes will have their pictures displayed on the wall in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.