A week-long series on Ohio State’s Big Ten Medal of Honor finalists continues today with a profile of on men’s gymnast Jake Bateman, an All-American in the gym and in the classroom.

Jake Bateman, a two-time All-American and team captain for Ohio State, proved he worked just as hard in the classroom as he did in the gym during in four-year career. The 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Bateman helped Ohio State to conference titles in both his rookie and sophomore seasons, as well as third-place finishes in his final two campaigns.

A native of Kingsport, Tenn., Bateman was both a 2008 and 2009 first-team All-Big Ten selection. As a junior, he finished second in the all-around at the league finals and earned his first career All-America accolade, finishing sixth in the all-around at the NCAA championships. That season he was awarded the team’s MVP honor.

In his final season, Bateman was honored as a 2009 Nissen-Emery Award finalist, men’s gymnastics’ top honor. He concluded his career taking third in the all-around and placing on four-of-five qualified events at the Big Ten championships before capping his career with an All-America honor on rings.

Majoring in biology and a member of the OSU Health Sciences Scholars Program, Bateman holds a 3.78 GPA. In April, he was named one of 58 student-athletes across the nation to be awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Coming from a family of dentists, Bateman was accepted to dental school at the University of Tennessee and plans to enroll in the fall of 2010 after spending the next year training in hopes of making the U.S. Senior National Team.

He leaves Ohio State as a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and College Gymnastics Association First Team All-America Scholar-Athlete an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Last year, Bateman was selected as one of five non-seniors to receive the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team honors after being selected to the First Team All-District team.

The Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor
In 1914 the Conference established a Medal of Honor to be awarded annually at each member institution to a student in the graduating class.  An additional award for the top female was instituted in 1982.  Chosen by the Athletic Council, the winners of this most prestigious award are the male and female senior student-athletes who have attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics. This honor includes a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship which can be used at an institution of the recipient’s choice.

Ohio State’s men’s and women’s Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients will be announced at the 2009 OSU Scholar-Athlete Dinner at the Columbus Convention Center Wednesday, May 20.

With Honor series:
Day 1: Steven Moneke, men’s tennis and Kim Reeder, softball
Day 2: James Laurinaitis, football and Jayme DeLancy, synchronized swimming
Day 3: Alyssa Meyer, women’s gymnastics and Jake Bateman, men’s gymnastics