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December 8, 2009

2009 Season - Westemeyer receives NFF honor in New York

Augustana senior offensive tackle Blaine Westemeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kansas) will graduate in May as one of the most decorated athletes in the Vikings’ storied athletic legacy. On Tuesday, December 8 Westemeyer (shown pictured here with former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of the University of Florida), added one more chapter to his story. He was one of  just 16 football players across the nation to be awarded an $18,000.00 postgraduate scholarship by the National Football Foundation.

The gala affair was held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York and Westemeyer was treated to whirlwind 48 hour celebration of his accomplishment. With Chris Fowler of ESPN serving as the emcee of the event, and with the guest list reading like a “who’s who” of college football, Westemeyer took his place with the elites in the game. He was just one of two NCAA Division III athletes who were honored on the occasion where the National Football Foundation also unveiled its 2010 “Hall of Fame” induction class. That class included such luminaries as Heisman Trophy winners Tim Brown of Notre Dame and Gino Torreta of the University of Miami as well as easily recognizable names like Curt Warner of Penn State, Chris Spielman of Ohio State and legendary USC head coach John Robinson.

With his parents, grandparents, head coach Jim Barnes and Augustana president Steve Bahls in attendance, Westemeyer solidified his place as one of the top student-athletes in school history. He becomes the fourth Viking to win the National Football Foundation scholarship, joining Chris Meskan (1998), Mackenzie Hall (2000) and Todd Baldwin (2002) in the rarified air of winning this award that combines athletic prowess with academic excellence.

A team captain this past season when he helped the Vikings to a 6-4 overall record, he was a three time first team all-conference selection in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. Twice he has been named to the American Football Coaches of America All-American team at offensive tackle.

He was a consensus pre-season All-American and just recently he won the Jack Swartz Award from the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the third consecutive year. He was named to the ESPN - The Magazine Academic All-American team by the College Sports Information Directors of America for the second consecutive season.

He is a finalist for the Gagliardi Award as the NCAA Division III "Player of the Year" and has been nominated for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. A biochemistry major, Westemeyer is the son of Brian and Nancy Westemeyer and he sports a 3.92 grade point average. He has served as the vice-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. An active member in the Athletes-Giving-Back program, he serves as a hospice volunteer and is a proctor in chemistry and organic chemistry.