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Neaves and MarshallUniversity of South Florida players, seniors Yohance Marshall and Kevon Neaves, who both have displayed on and off excellence, have been selected as two of 30 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s Division I soccer category.

The award, given annually to senior student athletes across nine NCAA Division I sports, has become one of the most prestigious honors in college athletics and is sponsored by Lowe’s, an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA.

These individuals qualified based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition. The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is distinctive from many other honors in that on-the-field performance is only one factor in determining candidacy – a major emphasis is placed on off-the-field commitments and personal character.

“I am happy to see two of our players got nominated,” said USF head coach George Kiefer. “I think Yohance and Kevon are deserving of it and I am excited for the both of them.”

The 2008 men’s candidates represent 28 NCAA colleges and universities, representing 17 conferences across the country. USF holds the multiple athlete honor on the men’s side with two candidates, the BIG EAST leads all conferences with five candidates.

Marshall, a defender from Trinidad, has been selected as a 2008 First Team Preseason All-American by College Soccer News. Marshall has been tabbed to the 2008 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, including being named the BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. In 2007 he helped the Bulls to eight shutouts in 19 games, anchoring a defense which recorded a .85 goals against average. Marshall scored one goal last season. During the fifth week of the 2007 season, TopDrawerSoccer.com selected Marshall to the National Team of the Week after the Bulls held No. 8 West Virginia scoreless in Morgantown. He was also classified as “Hard Working Team Player” in College Soccer News. As well as being a selected to the BIG EAST All-Conference second team, he finished the 2007 season as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Men’s Division I All-Northeast Region second team honoree.

Neaves, a midfielder from Trinidad has been selected to the 2008 Men’s Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List. Last year Neaves finished with six goals and eight assists, and was named to the 2007 National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) Men’s Division I All-Northeast Region first team and to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (how many times). In the second half of the season he was ranked as high as 21st in the nation with .47 assists per game and 52nd in the country with 1.18 points per game. He was a 2007 first team All-BIG EAST Conference player and was selected to the 2008 preseason all-conference team. Neaves is also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago U-20 National Team.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in both divisions in October. Those 10 names from each division will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning Oct. 9 and concluding Nov. 19. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championships in Frisco, Texas, scheduled for Dec. 12-14.