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Ryan Huff
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App’s Huff Earns Wilks Diversity and Inclusion Postgraduate Scholarship

May 2021 App State graduate Ryan Huff, who played for the Mountaineers’ football team from 2017-21 and is currently a master’s student in the Reich College of Education, has been named the 2022-23 recipient of the Steve and Marcia Wilks Diversity and Inclusion Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship, which was established last year by former App State football standout and longtime college and NFL coach Steve Wilks and his wife, is awarded annually to a qualified former Mountaineer student-athlete from an underrepresented population who is pursuing a graduate degree at Appalachian State University. The scholarship includes a year-long athletics department fellowship that focuses on developing transferable skills, networking, mentoring and professional development.

“Marci and I are honored to offer support to the dedicated and deserving student-athletes of Appalachian State,” Steve Wilks said. “We are committed to making a positive impact on their educational endeavors.”

In addition to assisting with the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina Mountaineers RISE student-athlete development program, Huff will have the opportunity to complete rotations serving in a variety of areas within App State Athletics.

“Ryan is a great selection to be this year’s scholarship recipient,” said Director of Athletics Doug Gillin. “He has given his all for App in his academic, athletic and social pursuits, and he will continue to be an ambassador for the Mountaineers in this role. We are grateful to Steve and Marcia Wilks for their generosity and for remaining connected to our student-athletes in this impactful way.”

A two-time honorable mention All-Sun Belt safety for the Mountaineers, Huff played in 50 games with 26 starts for App State’s defense. The Athens, Ga., native compiled 86 career tackles and five interceptions, while also playing a vital role on special teams early in his career.

Even with the busy schedule of a Division I student-athlete, Huff was a regular member of the Sun Belt academic honor roll, interned with the football player personnel department in spring 2021, and volunteered with Western Youth Network, Habitat for Humanity, Hardin Park Elementary and on-campus youth camps.

Huff is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education after earning a bachelor’s in communication studies (public relations). He served as a graduate assistant academic advisor with App State’s Academic Services for Student-Athletes department during the spring 2022 semester.