Bemidji State University football captain Brandon Alt was announced as the 2021-22 Male Athlete of the Year on Sunday evening at the annual Beaver Nation Celebration. The award winners were selected from a pool of nominated student-athletes from all 15 of BSU’s intercollegiate sport programs.
In addition, Beaver football offensive lineman Conor Kovas wwas selected BSU’s 2021-22 Male Newcomer of the Year. BSU football running back Jalen Frye was also named as the recipient of the third annual Community Impact Award.
In total, 73 seniors were recognized in addition to a department-record 13 NSIC/Myles Brand Academic with Distinction Award winners and NSIC Elite 18 award winner Rumer Flatness, the fifth BSU student-athlete to earn the award.
Conor Kovas – Football (Sophomore, Offensive Line, Joliet, Ill.)
A 2021 D2CCA All-Super Region 4 First Team and NSIC All-Conference First Team selection, Kovas started 12 games as the team qualified for its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and earned its sixth NSIC Championship. He contributed to the nation’s fifth-best offensive line in sacks allowed, the fifth-highest passing offense, the ninth-highest total offense and the 11th-best tackles for loss allowed. Kovas kept Harlon Hill Trophy finalist Brandon Alt upright en route to setting multiple BSU single-season passing records. Kovas helped BSU’s rushing attack average 131.4 yards per game.
Brandon Alt – Football (Sophomore, Quarterback, Cottage Grove, Minn.)
A 2021 D2CCA All-Super Region 4 Second Team selection and Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, Alt started 12 of 13 games played in as the team qualified for its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and earned its sixth NSIC Championship. A team captain, Alt was named to the NSIC All-Conference Second Team and earned NSIC Offensive Player of the Week two times. He ranked second in the nation in passing touchdowns, points responsible for and passing yards, ranked eighth in total offense, and 10th in yards per completion. Alt became just the 20th player in NCAA DII history to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season. He broke the NSIC single-season pass touchdown record along with BSU single-season records in passing yards and completions.
Jalen Frye – Football (Junior, Running Back, Mahtomedi, Minn.)
Prior to the fall of 2021, Frye’s season was taken away by injury. Instead of losing an opportunity on the field, he gained an opportunity to help those around him. Frye has been volunteering at Ruby’s Pantry since 2020 and is a student member of the Black Student Union since 2019. He also used his voice as a host and speaker at a Community Black Lives Matter assembly, a presenter during Student-Academic Achievement Day and at the Frederick P. Baker Center Grand Opening. Frye served on the President’s Student Commission in 2019 and will be a student representative on the Athletic Director search committee. He was also a member of the BSU Academic Dean’s List during the 2017-18 academic year.