July 1, 2020

Five Football Players Are Big Ten Distinguished Scholars


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five members of the Ohio State football team – TE Luke Farrell, WR C.J. Saunders, DL Zaid Hamdan, LB Ben Schmiesing and SAF Ryan Batsch – were named to the Big Ten Conference’s prestigious list of Distinguished Scholars today. Student-athletes must maintain at least a 3.70 grade point average for the school year to earn the honor.

In addition, Farrell and Schmiesing were among 13 football players conference-wide to maintain a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the 2019-20 academic year. All five players are first-time honorees.

A rising senior, Farrell is from Perry, Ohio and has 24 career starts, including all 14 games last year for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes. He’s totaled 119 receiving yards in his career with two touchdowns while also blocking for a rushing attack that produced the school’s first-ever 2,000-yard rusher in 2019. He’s majoring in human development and family science.

Saunders, a team captain in 2019, graduated in May of 2019 with his bachelor’s degree in accounting and is currently a graduate student in sports management. He’s played in 23 career games with 27 receptions for 294 yards and one touchdown. From Dublin, Ohio, Saunders was Ohio State’s nominee for the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given annually to the most outstanding player in America, who began his career as a walk-on.

Hamdan is entering his third season with the football program and is majoring in criminology and criminal justice. He’s from Mason, Ohio and a graduate of Mason High School.

Schmiesing has been an OSU Scholar-Athlete in each of his two full years with the program and is a finance major. He’s from Piqua, Ohio.

Batsch, an exploration major, joined the program is the summer of 2018 and is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and OSU Scholar-Athlete. He’s a native of Loveland, Ohio.