Jesus Verdejo (courtesy J. Meric)TAMPA – USF women's soccer player Jeannette Dyer and men's basketball player Jesus Verdejo have been selected by the USF Department of Athletics and the Academic Enrichment Center staff as the Female and Male Leadership Student-Athletes of the Year.

The award will be presented at the Celebration of University Leadership on Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in front of the Marshall Center. A reception will follow the awards ceremony.

"Jeannette really embodies what it means to be a USF student-athlete," said Justin Miller, Assistant Athletics Director for Academics and Student-Athlete Development. "She is hardworking, dedicated and committed to the overall well-being of her teammates and fellow student-athletes. Her role has Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President gives her a tremendous opportunity to impact a large number of her peers. Whether it is through community service initiatives or leadership conferences, Jeanette strives to be the best Bull she can be."

Dyer is a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and is an anchor on the Bulls defense. After taking a medical redshirt in 2007, Dyer plans to return to the field this fall for her senior season at USF. She has played in 47 total games in three seasons for the USF defense, scoring two goals.

"We would like to thank Jeanette for all of her efforts," added Miller. "She serves as a role model for student-athletes now, and will continue to for years to come. We feel confident that she possesses all of the characteristics that make her the best selection for this award."

Verdejo, a junior from Carolina, Puerto Rico, finished the season as the third leading scorer on the team at 10.7 points per game. He appeared in 30 of 31 games, including 29 starts, missing just the Jan. 2 game at Marquette due to injury. Verdejo was second on the team from the free throw line, shooting 80.3 percent and scored in double figures eight of the last nine games and in 19 of 30 on the year.

"As a member of our men's basketball team, Jesus Verdejo played an important role in their turnaround in the classroom and on the court,” said Miller. “He not only serves as an extension of his coach on the basketball floor, but also takes the initiative in encouraging the academic success of his teammates.  He is a great role model for our younger student-athletes and we look forward to many more great things from Jesus."

The selection committee nominated student-athletes not only for their success on the field, but also their drive to make their teammates better as well as their involvement in other capacities in which student-athletes serve. Dyer was selected as the winner for her outstanding leadership on the field and in the classroom. She serves as a mentor to underclassman, which in itself deserves to be commended, as well as serves as the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is also involved in the community, which helped solidify her selection for this award.