CLEVELAND, Ohio — North Dakota State University 157-pounder Clay Ream won the Elite 90 Award presented prior to the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship matches Saturday, March 17, at the Quickens Loan Arena. Ream earned the Elite 90 Award for the third straight year.
The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at each of the NCAA’s 90 national championships. Ream, a redshirt senior from Wentzville, Mo., has a 3.977 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling first team selection.
“I’ve always seen myself as a nerd. I just focus on my grades because it’s important to me. I put in a lot of hours. I try to be efficient as I can with my time. When I wrestle, I train as hard as I can,” said Ream.
“I believe that being a student comes first and our coaching staff believes in that as well. We work hard for a career. Wrestling, our sport, is important, but it isn’t a career. Wrestling is fun to do. I love to go out there and compete for NDSU, but in the end I am going to need to have a career after this.”
Ream is the fifth North Dakota State student-athlete to earn the award. He joins current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as NDSU three-time winners. Wentz was the recipient at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 FCS football championship games.
An award founded by the NCAA, the Elite 90 recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers
Ream completed in his fourth NCAA tournament appearance with a 1-2 record. He was 4-8 overall in NCAA competition. Ream compiled a 24-6 record this season including his second straight runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championships. He finished with 95 wins to rank No. 20 on the school’s all-time charts.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
For more information on the Elite 90 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite-90.