5 San Diego State Football Players Honored for 2021 Work on Field, in Classroom

SDSU Mountain West NCAA
Aztec Cameron Thomas. Photo credit: Derrick Tuskan, via goaztecs.com

Five former San Diego State football players were honored this week for their contributions not only on the field, but also in the classroom.

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that Matt Araiza, Daniel Bellinger, Elijah Kothe, Segun Olubi and Cameron Thomas had been named to the 2022 NFF Hampshire Honor Society.

To be eligible, athletes must own at least a 3.2 undergraduate GPA, have completed their final year of eligibility in 2021 and have been starters or significant contributors during the 2021 season.

Araiza, like Bellinger and Thomas, opted to leave the Aztecs early to enter the NFL draft, coming up later this month.

Araiza set an FBS record for punt averqage in a season last year at 51.19 en route to winning the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter while also becoming SDSU’s second unanimous first-team All-American.

He was also the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year. He had a 3.44 cumulative GPA while majoring in interdisciplinary studies.

Bellinger, meanwhile, logged 31 catches for 357 yards (11.5 avg.) With two touchdowns. A team captain, He logged a 3.47 cumulative GPA as a business finance major.

Kothe also had 31 receptions, but for 418 yards (13.5 avg.) And one touchdown as a wide receiver. He majored in business management with a 3.63 cumulative GPA.

Olubi totaled 53 tackles at linebacker, including 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup. A former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship prior to his final season and also named a team captain, Olubi had a 3.62 cumulative GPA. He majored in economics.

Thomas was named the MW Defensive Player of the Year following a season that saw him record 71 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and 21 quarterback hurries. For his efforts, Thomas was named a first-team All-America pick by The Athletic, and a second-team selection by four others. Thomas had a 3.28 GPA as a major in social science.

San Diego State finished the 2021 season ranked 25th in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll with a 12-2 record.

The Aztecs kick off their inaugural season at Snapdragon Stadium on Sept. 3 against Arizona.

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