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Grisom Leads Football Honorees at Academic Honors Luncheon

May 5, 2014

BERKELEY – Senior wide receiver James Grisom was named the inaugural winner of the Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award to lead four football players honored Monday at Cal’s annual Student-Athlete Academic Honors Luncheon held in Haas Pavilion. Matt Anderson (highest football cumulative GPA), Mitchel Bartolo (Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarship) and Mark Brazinski (Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship) were also honored.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all, but I do appreciate that the hard work I’ve put into my academics and the passion that I’ve put into learning is being recognized,” Grisom said.

The award honored Grisom for his commitment to excellence in many facets at Cal and beyond the campus borders that exemplify what it takes to be a successful Golden Bear rather than based solely on academics and grade point average. Grisom is a religious studies major with a 2.80 GPA.

“Today we recognized James for demonstrating that the process of gaining knowledge is optimal when there is perseverance and purpose behind learning,” learning specialist Kasra Sotudeh said. “James does not limit his academic journey to the classroom but instead, intentionally expands his desire to experience multiple mindsets.”

Among those mindsets is Knowledge Seekers, an informal group created by Grisom that voluntarily meets to discuss diverse perspectives on various issues. Grisom is also involved in composing music for a documentary on human trafficking among many projects off the field and outside of the classroom.

“The most important thing for me is that we realize the importance of learning in general,” Grisom emphasized. “Sometimes we get a little too caught up in only getting the grade or trying to gain the success that society has defined for us, but if we can find a passion for learning itself then the grades and everything else will just follow. Academics are really about learning and the experiences you gain, and maturing and growing as a person.”

The event also recognized each of the team’s Pac-12 All-Academic selections in first-team selections Chris Adcock and Brazinski, second-teamers the late Ted Agu, Hardy Nickerson and Christian Okafor, and honorable mention picks Todd Barr, Alejandro Crosthwaite, Vincenzo D’Amato, Cedric Dozier, Cole Leininger and Bryce Treggs.

Grisom was selected out of a group of 40 football players that was recognized as one of the team’s Jonathan and Judy Hoff Scholar-Athlete of the Week selections during the 2013-14 academic year. Each player was honored for an academic skill that developed through practice, a study habit that formed into an effective routine, a positive measured outcome that was achieved through a course assignment or exam, and/or a leadership trait that was portrayed through academics.

2013-14 Jonathan and Judy Hoff Scholar-Athlete of the Week Honorees

September 16-23 James Langford, Sione Sina
September 23-29 Michael Lowe, Freddie Tagaloa
September 30 – October 6 Cormac Craigie, Daniel Lasco
October 7-13 Jack Austin, Bradley Northnagel
October 14-20 Mitchel Bartolo, Hardy Nickerson
October 21-27 Caleb Coleman, Avery Sebastian
October 28 – November 3 Austin Clark, Cole Leininger
November 4-10 Chris Adcock, Jalen Jefferson
November 11-17 Vincenzo D'Amato, Ikem Okwudiafor
November 18-24 Aaron Cochran, Antione Davis
December 2-8 Darius Allensworth, Noah Beito
December 9-15 Kyle Boehm, Ray Davison
March 3-9 Chris Borrayo, Cameron Walker
March 10-16 Todd Barr, Joey Mahalic
March 17-23 Alejandro Crosthwaite, David Garner
March 31 – April 6 Trey Cheek, Fabiano Hale
April 7-13 Myles Bunte, Brennan Scarlett
April 14-20 Tony Mekari, Drake Whitehurst
April 21-27 James Grisom, John Sheperdson
April 28 – May 4 Darius Powe, Jordan Rigsbee