FRISCO, Texas--North Dakota State University linebacker Esley Thorton received the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) NCAA Elite 89 Academic Award at the championship banquet held Friday, Jan. 4, at the Embassy Suites.
Thorton, a 6-foot-3, 207-pound sophomore from Bismarck, N.D., maintains a 3.870 grade point average majoring in exercise science.
Making the switch from quarterback to linebacker in fall camp, Thorton has played in 10 games this season with 15 tackles including seven solos and 0.5 sacks.
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.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, 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
The award was presented by FCS Championship chairman and Appalachian State director of athletics Charlie Cobb.