Zheng, Corbett claim Nevada Wolf Pack’s top senior honors
RENO – A two-time national champion diver, Sharae Zheng, and the second-highest NFL draft pick from Nevada in modern history, Austin Corbett, have been selected as the recipients of the year’s most outstanding senior student-athlete awards at the University of Nevada.
Zheng, perhaps the greatest champion in Mountain West Conference history with a league-record eight gold medals in her career, caps her illustrious career with the Ruth Russell Award as the school’s top female senior student-athlete.
Corbett, a local product who began his career as a walk-on and became a four-year starter and three-time all-conference selection, is the Doc Martie Award winner as the top male senior student-athlete.
“Sharae is very simply one of the greatest athletes in school history, having dominated competition in the Mountain West Conference and twice winning gold medals at the NCAA Championships,” said athletics director Doug Knuth. “Austin’s a shining example of what athletes can accomplish at Nevada with hard work and dedication.”
“Both are also terrific people away from competition and are exemplary representatives of Wolf Pack athletics and the university. Congratulations to both on these prestigious honors.”
Corbett was selected 33rd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, becoming the second-highest NFL draft pick in school history. A graduate of Reed High School in Sparks, he began his collegiate career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and a starting role with ‘The Union.’ He was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy and was named to the Outland Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy preseason watch list multiple times He received a nomination to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and an invite to the Senior Bowl.
He concluded his career with 48 consecutive starts on the offensive line and he punctuated his three selections to the All-Mountain West team with annual Academic All-Mountain West honors as well.
Zheng, from Chendu, China, won a pair of individual national championships in 2016 with her gold medals in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard and was named the 2016 NCAA Diver of the Year by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). She earned All-America status all three years at Nevada.
She capped her career by sweeping all three diving events at the 2018 conference meet as a senior, for the second year in a row, and earned MW Diver of the Year honors for the second time in her career. She’s also earned Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors.
Corbett is the first football player to win the Martie Award since Zach Sudfeld in 2013. Zheng is third diver in the last five years to win the Russell Award, joining Grace Huang and Krysta Palmer in that stretch.
The men’s award is named for J.E. “Doc” Martie, a former Nevada men’s basketball coach and administrator, while the women’s honor is named for Ruth I. Russell, a former director of women’s athletics. Student-athletes are nominated by their head coaches and must be in their final year of eligibility and in good academic standing. The award winners are nominated by their head coaches and selected in a vote by the athletics department staff.