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 November.
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.
November's student-athletes of the month are Shanice Hall [Track & Field], Danielle Hunter [Football], Therese Jernbeck [Track & Field], Haley Smith [Volleyball] and Corey Thompson [Football]. Jacee Blades [Softball] was selected as the Shaquille O'Neal CHAMPS/Student-Athlete Affairs Athlete of the Month.
Hall is majoring in psychology, while Hunter is undecided in his courses of study. Jernbeck is a major in business, and Smith is majoring in business management. Thompson is majoring in engineering, and Blades is a kinesiology major.
Blades, a junior softball player from Baton Rouge, La., appeared in 43 games with 27 starts during her sophomore season as the Tigers returned to the Women's College World Series. Her hard work for her team does not falter her academics, as she's earned consecutive SEC Academic Honor Roll honors. Blades also is no stranger to the community, as she volunteered for the recent Big Buddy's Day of the Mentor event as well as the Halloween BOOzar.
A freshman high jumper from Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica, Hall comes to the Tigers as the 2012 winner of the Gibson Relays held at the National Stadium in Kingston, as well as the gold medalist of the 2010 Under-20 Carifta Games. She also claimed the 2012 bronze medal at the Jamaican Junior Championships in the U-20 division. Hall recently joined other members of the track & field team as well as the volleyball team for the Live 2 Serve event called "Live 2 Play," where the student-athletes interacted with children living in poverty.
Hunter, a freshman defensive lineman from Katy, Texas, has played in nine of LSU's 10 games during the 2012 season. He has totaled 11 tackles highlighted by a career-high three stops versus Idaho. Hunter joined LSU as a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and Rivals.com, while Scout.com ranked him the No. 14 defensive end. He also is an asset to the community with his contribution to St. Vincent de Paul and helping to feed the homeless.
A freshman heptathlete athlete from Stockholm, Sweden, Jernbeck was a top European athlete and member of the Swedish National Team. The star athlete notched a 12th-place finish at the 2011 European Junior Athletics Championships in the women's heptathlon event. Jernbeck also donates her time to the community and most recently interacted with trick-or-treaters and volunteered her time to the 17th Annual Halloween BOOzar.
Smith, a freshman defensive specialist from Meraux, La., has appeared in 20 matches and contributed to LSU's conference-leading 17.05 digs per set average. She was named SEC Freshman of the Week back on September 24 after a pair of 18-dig performances versus Kentucky and Missouri. Smith has volunteered much of her time to the community, including her work for the Companion Animal Alliance, Boo at the Zoo and the Halloween BOOzar.
A freshman safety from Missouri City, Texas, Thompson has seen action in all 10 games this season. He posted a career-best three tackles during the Mississippi State and Towson victories in addition to being a key contributor on special teams. Out of high school, Thompson ranked as the No. 18 safety nationally by Rivals.com and 247sports.com. Not only does he serve his football team, but he has also benefitted the community by giving his time to St. Vincent de Paul.
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.