December 15 2010
23 CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-America® football selections lead teams into bowl games ESPN Academic All-America selections participating in 2010-11 football bowl games (.pdf)
ESPN Academic All-America selections participating in 2010-11 football bowl games (.doc)
Photo ID, l to r: Penn State's three 2010 ESPN Academic All-America® First Team selections - senior right guard Stefan Wisniewski, senior linebacker Chris Colasanti and junior defensive end Pete Massaro
TOWSON, Md. –
Led by Penn State, which has a trio of ESPN Academic All-America® University Division first team selections, 23 members of the 2010 Academic All-America® University Division first and second teams will be competing in bowl games during the coming weeks as the 2010 college football season comes to a conclusion.
Penn State is one of five bowl teams with more than one Academic All-America® honoree on its roster. The Nittany Lions will play Florida in the 25th annual Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 at 1:00 p.m. (EST).
A pair of first team Academic All-America® picks will lead defending national champion Alabama (9-3) into the Capital One Bowl against Michigan State on Jan. 1. When tenth-ranked Boise State faces Utah in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos (11-1) will have two Academic All-America® honorees on their roster.
Ranked fourth in the nation, Stanford (11-1) will be counting on a pair of ESPN Academic All-America® selections when the Cardinal plays Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1. Making its first appearance in a bowl game since 1996, Army will have a pair of Academic All-America® honorees in the lineup when the Cadets face Southern Methodist in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 30.
A three-year starter at for Penn State, senior right guard Stefan Wisniewski
earned first team ESPN Academic All-America® University Division honors for the second year in a row. A secondary education major with a 3.91 grade-point average (G.P.A.), Wisniewski was also a second team honoree as a sophomore. An All-Big Ten Conference pick the last three years, the Bridgeville, Pa. native was honored as one of 16 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes last week. The first Nittany Lion to earn ESPN Academic All-America® honors three times, he was also named as a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
Junior defensive end Pete Massaro and senior linebacker Chris Colasanti, the Nittany Lions’ other two ESPN Academic All-America® first team selections
, will lead the Penn State defense into the Outback Bowl against Florida.
A finance major with a 3.83 G.P.A., Massaro has made 33 tackles, including eight tackles for lost yardage. A kinesiology and pre-medicine major with a 3.61 G.P.A., Colasanti leads Penn State with 102 tackles.
During Coach Joe Paterno’s 45-year tenure, Academic All-America® honorees have become a major part of the football program’s legacy. Penn State has had 47 Academic All-America® honorees, including 37 first team selections. For the last seven years in a row, Penn State has had at least one player named to the Academic All-America® first team. In the Outback Bowl, Coach Paterno will be seeking his 25th victory in a bowl game. The winningest coach in college football history, Paterno has a career record of 401-133-3, including a 24-11-1 mark in bowl games.
Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and right guard Barrett Jones
, a pair of first team Academic All-America® picks, have led the Crimson Tide to a 9-3 record, one season after leading Alabama to the national championship.
Honored as the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America® of the Year in the University Division, McElroy is a graduate student who earned his degree in business marketing with a 3.82 G.P.A. Named as the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, McElroy is a Rhodes Scholar finalist who has compiled a 23-3 record as the starting quarterback for Coach Nick Saban. He has had an outstanding 2010 season as he completed 209 of 296 passes for 2,767 yards and 19 touchdowns. While completing more than 70 per cent of his passes, he has been intercepted only five times.
A starter in 25 of 26 games at right guard the last two seasons, Jones is an accounting major with a 4.00 G.P.A. Named first team All-SEC in 2010, the 6-5, 301-pound Jones helped Mark Ingram win the Heisman Trophy last year. In 2010, he has helped the Crimson Tide offense rank among the national scoring leaders with just under 35 points per game.
A pair of ESPN Academic All-America® second team selections, Boise State junior quarterback Kellen Moore and junior offensive lineman Nate Potter
, have helped Boise State to an 11-1 record and its eighth Western Athletic Conference title since 2001. A communication major with a 3.39 G.P.A., Moore was the WAC’s Offensive Co-Player of the Year and finished fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy. A History major with a 3.70 G.P.A., Potter was named first team All-WAC for the second straight season.
A consensus All-American quarterback, Moore ranks second in the nation with a 185.0 quarterback rating. He has completed 245 of 345 passes for 3,506 yards and 33 touchdowns with only five interceptions. In his career, the Prosser, Wash. native has passed for 10,528 yards and 97 touchdowns.
Stanford senior offensive center Chase Beeler
, an Academic All-America® first team selection, and senior linebacker Owen Marecic
, a second team honoree, have led the fourth-ranked Cardinal to an 11-1 record, the best mark in school history. A History major with a 3.68 G.P.A., Beeler has been a three-year starter for Coach Jim Harbaugh and he earned All-American honors from the AFCA.
Marecic, a human biology major with a 3.47 G.P.A., is one of the most versatile players in college football. A native of Tigard, Ore., he starts at linebacker and fullback for Stanford. Honored as a first team AFCA All-American, he ranks among the team leaders with 45 tackles. He also has two interceptions for 39 yards.
While helping Army
earn its first Bowl appearance since 1996, senior defensive back Jordan Trimble
and senior defensive lineman Carson Homme
have led the Cadets to a 6-6 record this season. A systems engineering major with a 3.77 G.P.A., Trimble earned ESPN Academic All-America® first team notice. A native of Ashburn, Va., Trimble has been a versatile defensive back who played in 11 games for Coach Rich Ellerson. He has made 35 tackles with two interceptions.
A mathematical science and American History major with 3.92 G.P.A., Homme has filled a number of roles for the Cadets this season. A reserve defensive lineman who has played in all 12 games, he has one tackle. Most importantly, the second team ESPN Academic All-America® honoree has filled the role of long snapper on Army’s special teams.
When the bowl season gets underway on Saturday, Dec. 18, BYU junior running back Bryan Kariya
, an ESPN Academic All-America® second team selection, will lead Brigham Young into the New Mexico Bowl where the Cougars will face Texas El Paso. A Chinese major with a 3.87 G.P.A., Kariya has been the Cougars’ second-leading rusher with 519 yards on 131 carries, a 4.0 average. He also scored five touchdowns. A native of Kaysville, Utah, Kariya has also caught 21 passes for 122 yards while helping BYU to a 6-6 record.
Fresno State senior tight end Vince Pascoe
, a second team Academic All-America® pick, will lead Fresno State into the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 18 when the Bulldogs face Northern Illinois. A starter in all 12 games as a senior, he is a mechanical engineering major with a perfect 4.00 G.P.A. A native of Exeter, Cal., Pascoe has played in 49 career games with 30 starts. He has made 16 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his career. As a senior, he has helped Fresno post an 8-4 record with five catches for 50 yards.
A first team ESPN Academic All-America® University Division offensive lineman, John Dowd of the U.S. Naval Academy
will guide Navy (9-3) into the Poinsettia Bowl where the Midshipmen will play San Diego State. A two-year starter at tackle, Dowd is a 6-4, 260-pound lineman who has started all 12 games for the Mids. A mechanical engineering major with a 3.92 G.P.A., he has been a key to the Navy running game which ranks fifth in the nation, averaging 289 yards per game. A second team Academic All-America® lineman in 2009, he is leading Navy into its eighth consecutive Bowl game, a school record.
One of the top receivers in the nation, senior Kealoha Pilares
will lead Hawaii
’s high-powered passing game into the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24 when the Warriors face Tulsa. A first team ESPN Academic All-America® honoree, Pilares has caught 88 passes for 1,306 yards and 15 touchdowns while helping Hawaii post a 10-3 record. A kinesology and recreation sciences major with a 3.61 G.P.A., Pilares was named second team All-Western Athletic Conference. A member of a Warrior offense which leads the nation with 387.8 passing yards per game, the Wahiawa, Hawaii native has caught 201 passes for 2,491 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career.
Named as a second team ESPN Academic All-America® punter, Baylor graduate student Derek Epperson
has helped BU earn a berth in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 29 where the Bears will face Illinois. A management major who graduated with a 3.62 G.P.A., Epperson is a three-time All-Big 12 Conference selection. An honorable mention All-American as a junior, he ranks 19th in the nation with a 44.2 average. Of his 49 punts, 11 of them have been longer than 50 yards and he has placed 13 inside the 20-yard line. The Bears’ punter for four years, he has punted 218 times in his career and has a 42.8 average. A native of Southlake, Texas, he has 49 career punts of 50 yards or more.
Nebraska junior safety Austin Cassidy
, an ESPN Academic All-America® first team selection, will lead the #13 Cornhuskers into its 47th bowl game when the Cornhuskers face Washington in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. A psychology major with a 3.88 G.P.A., Cassidy has played in all 13 games for the 10-3 Huskers. A starter in six games, he ranks eighth on the team with 41 tackles and he has intercepted one pass. The Cornhuskers, who handed Washington a 56-21 loss in September, finished the season as Big 12 Conference runners-up.
Named as the ESPN Academic All-America® first team place kicker, Notre Dame senior David Ruffer
has been the leading scorer for Fighting Irish, 7-5 on the season. The Fighting Irish will play Miami (Fla.) in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas. An economics major with a 3.90 G.P.A., Ruffer is the only place kicker in the nation with a perfect 1.000 field goal percentage. A finalist for the Lou Groza Award, he is 15-for-15 on the season and has scored 79 points. Ruffer owns the school record by making 20 consecutive field goal attempts.
plays Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31, the Bulldogs will be relying on ESPN Academic All-America® first team junior punter Drew Butler
. Majoring in telecommunication arts, Butler has a 3.58 G.P.A. The winner of the 2009 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter last season, Butler averaged 48.1 yards per punt. He enters the Liberty Bowl as the 15th-ranked punter in the nation with a 44.7 average. While helping Georgia post a 6-6 record, he is fourth in the nation with a 40.56 net punting mark.
Making its first-ever appearance in the Rose Bowl, third-ranked Texas Christian University
will be led by senior wide receiver Bart Johnson
when the Horned Frogs put their 12-0 record on the line against fifth-ranked Wisconsin on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Cal. A marketing major with a 3.76 G.P.A., Johnson is the third-leading receiver for TCU with 30 catches for 396 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson helped TCU win the Mountain West Conference title in 2010.
A second team ESPN Academic All-America® selection on the offensive line, Oklahoma senior Brian Lepak
will be providing depth and versatility when ninth-ranked OU faces Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. A finance major with a 3.86 G.P.A., Lepak has been a valuable reserve for the Sooners, who won their seventh Big 12 Conference championship and have an 11-2 record. He has appeared in 11 games as a senior with two starts while playing offensive center and right guard. In his career, he has played in 19 games with five starts.
A three-year starter at safety and a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference first team selection, senior Jeremy Kellem will lead Middle Tennessee State
(6-6) into the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 6. The Blue Raiders will face Miami (Ohio). Named to the ESPN Academic All-America® University Division second team, Kellem leads MTSU with 101 tackles and ranks seventh in the Sun Belt Conference. An organizational communication major with a 3.58 G.P.A., he has two interceptions this season.
Texas A&M graduate student linebacker Michael Hodges
, a first team ESPN Academic All-America® selection, will guide #17 Texas A&M (9-3) into its Cotton Bowl appearance against Louisiana State on Jan. 7 in Arlington, Texas. The graduate student who had a 3.82 G.P.A. with a sport management major, Hodges is a former “walk-on” who started at middle linebacker for the Aggies. A second team All-Big 12 Conference selection as a senior, he led Texas A&M with 111 tackles. The fourth-leading tackler in the Big 12, he also made 7.5 tackles for lost yardage and had 4.5 quarterback sacks.
College Division Academic All-America® Honorees Lead Finalists Into National Championship Games on Dec. 18
There will also be five ESPN Academic All-America® College Division honorees participating in two NCAA Championship games on Saturday, Dec. 18.
Although senior running back Isaac Odom
will be on the sidelines with a career-ending knee injury, undefeated Minnesota-Duluth
(14-0) will be playing for the NCAA Division II championship when the Bulldogs face Delta State on Saturday at Florence, Ala. The ESPN Academic All-America® of the Year, Odom rushed for 796 yards in only six games and scored 17 touchdowns for UMD. A mechanical engineering major with a 3.85 G.P.A., he earned first team honors for the second year in a row.
When number one-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater (14-0) and undefeated Mount Union (14-0) meet in the NCAA Division III championship game for the sixth consecutive season in Salem, Va., four members of the ESPN Academic All-America® College Division second team will be playing in the game.
Wisconsin-Whitewater senior wide receiver Aaron Rusch
, a physical education major with a 3.82 G.P.A., will be trying to help Wisconsin-Whitewater win its second straight NCAA Division III championship. The Warhawks’ leading receiver, he has caught 87 passes for 1,037 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Coach Lance Leipold’s Warhawks have won 29 consecutive games, dating back to a 31-26 loss to Mount Union in the 2008 championship game.
Seeking its fourth NCAA Division III championship since 2005, Mount Union will have three second team Academic All-America® honorees in the lineup when the Purple Raiders try to avenge a 38-28 loss to UWW in last season’s championship game.
A health and physical education major with a 3.48 G.P.A., Mount Union senior tight end Kyle Miller
has been the third-leading receiver for the Purple Raiders. He has caught 58 passes for 801 yards and six touchdowns. A two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection, he has 82 career receptions for 1,281 yards and 14 TD’s.
Senior linebacker Sam Kershaw
, a business administration major with a 3.45 G.P.A., and junior defensive back Alex Ferrara
, a biology major with a 3.88 G.P.A., have been two of the top defensive performers for the Mount Union defense, which is allowing only 7.4 points per game. A two-time All-OAC first team selection for Coach Larry Kehnes, Kershaw is the Purple Raiders’ second-leading tackler with 94 stops, including ten for lost yardage. Named to the All-OAC first team in 2010, Ferrara has 40 tackles. He has also intercepted four passes.
Over the last three seasons, the Purple Raiders have won 43 of 44 games. Since 1996, Mount Union has compiled an incredible record of 207-6 with eight national championships.
The CoSIDA ESPN Academic All-America® Program
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
The Academic All-America® program currently selects 12 teams at the University Division level and 12 teams at the College Division level. The program currently selects the following Academic All-America® teams: men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s cross country and track, women’s cross country and track, men’s at-large and women’s at-large.
For more information about the ESPN Academic All-America® Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dan O’Connell, Towson University
Academic All-America® Vice-Chair For Publicity/Communications
Jeff Schwartz, North Dakota State University
Academic All-America® Coordinator of Publicity