IRVING — Eric Soza was one of 16 student-athletes that received the Fall 2013 Conference USA Spirit of Service Award, the league office announced on Wednesday.
Soza, who graduated last May with a 3.96 GPA in physical education, currently is taking graduate courses in education leadership and policy studies with plans to pursue coaching.
The Beeville native was selected as one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes on Oct. 31 and was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (a.k.a. the Academic Heisman). The 6-foot, 210-pounder also was a first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District VII and C-USA All-Academic selection, a member of this year’s American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, one of 12 Wuerffel Trophy finalists and a Senior CLASS Award candidate.
Soza is a three-term president of UTSA's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also serves as a guest speaker at San Antonio-area schools and volunteers at youth football camps and clinics in addition to helping build a home for a wounded warrior and serving meals to veterans.
A member of both the Manning Award (nation’s top QB) and inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (top offensive player in Division I with ties to the state of Texas) preseason watch lists, he became the first Roadrunners football player ever to be named to a national award preseason watch list this fall. Soza, who finished his career with a 19-13 (.594) record in three seasons as the squad's starting quarterback, is the program’s all-time leading passer (574-for-966/6,952 yards/46 TDs) and also rushed a school-record 259 times for 1,018 yards and 16 scores during his time in the Alamo City.
He connected on 236-of-377 (62.6 percent) passes for 2,719 yards, including a program-record 316 against Houston (Sept. 28), and 12 touchdowns this past season in addition to rushing for 369 yards and seven scores on 97 carries.
Designed to recognize the community service efforts of the league's student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport, the award is presented three times throughout the season, with today's honorees representing the league's fall sports of cross country, football, soccer and volleyball.
Fall 2013 Conference USA Spirit of Service Award honorees
· Corey Acosta, Southern Mississippi (football)
· Nate Barnes, Old Dominion (football)
· Amber Bennett, Tulane (volleyball)
· Kelsey Brouwer, Middle Tennessee (women's soccer)
· Laura Der, Marshall (volleyball)
· Casey Fitzgerald, Tulsa (men's cross country)
· Tyler Gibson, Charlotte (men's soccer)
· Mustafa Johnson, Florida Atlantic (football)
· Jasmine Kauka, UAB (women's soccer)
· Klein Kubiak, Rice (football)
· Chaz Lowery, East Carolina (football)
· Azia Nicholson, UTEP (women's soccer)
· Eric Soza, UTSA (football)
· Sara Stewart, FIU (women's soccer)
· Caitlin Updyke, Louisiana Tech (women's soccer)
· Courtney Windham, North Texas (volleyball)