IRVING, Texas – North Dakota State 197-pounder Cordell Eaton was named the Big 12 Conference Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year as the conference announced its 2020 Winter Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Eaton, a redshirt senior from Long Grove, Iowa, his the second NDSU wrestler to receive the award, joining former teammate and two-time recipient Clay Ream (2017, 2018).
Eaton qualified for his first NCAA tournament this season. He won the 197-pound true sixth place match to earn the AQ at the 2020 Big 12 Championship. Eaton went 4-2 at the Big 12 tournament and finished 15-12 overall.
During his career, Eaton was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling first team honoree. He maintains a 3.831 GPA working toward a degree in agricultural and biosystems engineering.
The Big 12 Conference established its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2012-13. A recipient is named in each conference-sponsored sport. Every Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport with the winners selected by a vote of the league head coaches for that sport, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes. Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominees must be a junior or senior (athletic and academic standing), have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, participate in at least 20 percent of the team’s scheduled contests and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.
North Dakota State finished the regular season with a 10-4 dual record including 6-2 in the Big 12 Conference. NDSU 133 pounder Cam Sykora became the first-ever Bison to win a Big 12 Conference individual championship and helped the Bison to a fifth place finish at the Big 12 tournament.
North Dakota State tied a program record with six NCAA Division I tournament qualifiers – 133 Sykora, 141 Dylan Droegemueller, 157 Jared Franek, 165 Andrew Fogarty, 197 Cordell Eaton and 285 Brandon Metz. Sykora and Fogarty were four-time qualifiers, while Droegemueller, Franek, Eaton and Metz advanced for the first time.