Feb. 27, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A national-leading three MIT student-athletes were awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships following the 2008 fall season. Football standouts James Oleinik and Thomas Franklin, and men's cross country senior Jake Ruzevick, earned scholarships totaling $22,500.
The one-time, non-renewable grants are awarded annually to students who excel academically and athletically, and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Only 29 scholarships for men and women are available for each sports season (fall, winter and spring).
The student-athlete also must intend to continue their academic studies as a full-time or part-time graduate student. Candidates are nominated by the school's faculty athletics representative, screened by regional selection committees, and the recipients are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.
As a four-year starter at tight end, Franklin developed into an outstanding blocker during his career and helped guide the Engineers to the ninth-best rushing attack in the nation this past season. Selected to the Academic All-District Second Team in 2007, he was named CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team following a tremendous senior year. He was one of only two players from District I picked to the College Division national first team.
In addition to his football commitments, Franklin is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Set to graduate with a perfect 5.0 grade point average in Aerospace Engineering, he is a recipient of the Society of Flight Test Engineers Scholarship.
Oleinik leaves behind a rich legacy as an MIT football player, capping his career as one of the greatest offensive lineman in program history. Adding to an awards-filled postseason, Oleinik was recently selected as the 2008 Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award winner which is presented to the “very best, and most academically talented” college senior in New England, playing at the Division II and III levels by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston.
Oleinik started all 10 games for the Engineers this past season, and was the dominant force behind MIT’s impressive running game. As the starting right guard, he helped produce a rushing offense that average 275.4 yards per game, while the Engineers as a group yielded just six sacks. Oleinik was named the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Offensive Lineman of the Year for the second straight season in addition to First Team All-Division plaudits. A 2008 team captain, he was also a semifinalist for the coveted Draddy Trophy and was named d3football.com Honorable Mention All-American.
In the classroom, Oleinik has maintained a 4.6 grade point average while pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
Ruzevick has enjoyed a highly successful career as a member of the MIT men’s cross country team. Earning plaudits as the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Runner of the Year for the second straight season last fall, he is also a two-time team captain.
A four-time All-New England selection, Ruzevick won two major invitationals during his career while qualifying for the NCAA Championships as an individual in 2006. Set to graduate with a degree in Brain & Cognitive Sciences with a minor in Biology, he has also been the recipient of numerous academic awards. The past two years, Ruzevick was selected to the NCAA Division III Cross Country All-Academic Team as voted by the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association, while he is a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree.