College Sports Journal
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Montana State defensive end Caleb Schrebeis, Stony Brook quarterback Kyle Essington, South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner and Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola headline College Sports Journal's inaugural All-Academic team.
Schrebeis, a senior from Billings, MT., notched 59 tackles and 15 tackles for loss as the star defensive lineman from the Big Sky co-champion Bobcats. He also achieved a 3.38 grade point average at Montana State, where he is majoring in mechanical engineering.
Essington, a senior from Chino Hills, CA., led FCS in passing efficiency with a 171.02 efficiency rating, throwing for 2,032 yards and scored 23 touchdowns for the Big South co-champion Seawolves. He also achieved a 3.46 grade point average, graduating this December with a degree in business management.
Zenner, a sophomore from Eagan, MN., had a breakout campaign for the Jackrabbits, scoring 13 touchdowns and leading the nation in rushing with 2,044 yards after their run in the FCS playoffs. He's a biology and pre-med double major with a 3.78 grade point average at South Dakota State
Spadola, a senior from Hopewell, N.J., battled through illness to still lead the 10-1 Mountain Hawks with 851 receiving yards, as well as amassing 183 return yards in just two games returning kicks for Lehigh. In the classroom the supply chain management major also excelled with a 3.31 grade-point average.
Schrebeis, Essington, Zenner and Spadola exemplify College Sports Journal's All-Academic team, which is selected based on both exemplary academic and athletic contributions on and off the field.
Additionally, North Dakota State defensive tackle Ryan Drevlow, a junior electrical engineering major from Gwinner, North Dakota with a 3.66 GPA, also has excelled in the classroom and on the field, notching 33 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks for the defending champion Bison in their championship run in the 2012-2013 football season.
In addition, along with Drevlow, Schrebeis, Essington, and Zenner, five other members of this year's team competed in the FCS playoffs as well: senior Colgate wide receiver Chris Looney (History/International Relations), junior Montana State wide receiver Tanner Bleskin (Microbiology), junior South Dakota State offensive guard Taylor Suess (Mechanical Engineering), senior Eastern Washington defensive back Jeff Minnerly (Finance/Electrical Engineering), and sophomore WR/PR Jason Schneider (Pre-Pharmacy).
Seven members of this year's all-academic team are recognized with having a perfect 4.0 GPA: senior Liberty wide receiver Pat Kelly (Exercise Science), senior Western Carolina tight end Conner Orr (Accounting), junior offensive guard Jimmy Holtschlag (Agriculture Science), junior Coastal Carolina wide reciever/punt returner Niccolo Mastromatteo (Philosophy), junior Austin Peay offensive tackle Ben Stansfield (Psychology), senior Campbell punter Sam Eberwein (Pharmacy Doctorate/MBA) and sophomore Northern Arizona linebacker Austin Hasquet (Biomedical science).
The team was selected by a panel of FCS experts that include the co-owners of College Sports Journal, David Coulson and Chuck Burton. Specific input from FCS football conferences, conference and national all-academic teams and nominations, and other academic sources were also used in selection.
Coulson is a 35-year veteran of covering college football at every level from Division I to the junior college ranks, including 20 years as the leading written voice of FCS. He authored an award-winning, coffee-table book on Appalachian State's run to the 2005 national championship, entitled "Magic on the Mountain."
A 1980 graduate of Fresno State, Coulson also spent two years as sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, three seasons running the FCS awards program as the executive director of The Sports Network and was one of the pioneers of College Sporting News in 2001.
Burton cut his teeth in FCS as a student at Lehigh. After graduating, he began the popular blog, Lehigh Sports Nation, covering the Mountain Hawks and the Patriot League in depth.
Burton also spent nearly a decade writing a successful FCS column for College Sporting News before beginning the College Sports Journal web site with Coulson last year.
College Sports Journal also publishes a postseason All-America team for FCS and released the first All-FCS Freshman squad last season, besides its work covering other NCAA sports.
2012 College Sports Journal FCS All-Academic Team
QB Kyle Essington, Senior, Stony Brook (3.46, Business Management)
QB DeNarius McGhee, Junior, Montana State (3.42, Marketing)
RB Zach Zenner, Sophomore, South Dakota State (3.78 Biology/Pre-Med)
RB Zach Barket, Senior, Lehigh (3.46, Accounting)
FB Greg Kessell, Senior, Lafayette 3.38, Economics)
AB Kurt Odom, Junior, Campbell (3.95, Kinesiology)
WR Chris Looney, Senior, Colgate (3.90, International Relations/History)
WR Mark Ross, Junior, Lafayette (3.58, Economics)
WR Tanner Bleskin, Junior, Montana State (3.90, Microbiology)
WR Pat Kelly, Senior, Liberty (4.00, Exercise Science)
TE Cameron Brate, Junior, Harvard (3.39, Economics)
TE Conner Orr, Senior, Western Carolina (4.00, Accounting)
C Dylan Fox, Senior, Southern Utah (3.69, Economics)
OG Jimmy Holtschlag, Junior, Western Illinois (4.00, Agriculture Science)
OG Taylor Suess, Junior, South Dakota State (3.95, Mechanical Engineering)
OT Patrick Ford, Senior, Eastern Kentucky (3.90, Construction Management)
OT Ben Stansfield, Junior, Austin Peay (4.00, Psychology)
DE Caleb Schreibeis, Senior, Montana State (3.38, Mechanical Engineering)
DE Nolan Nearhoof, Senior, Robert Morris (3.74, Biology)
DT Ryan Drevlow, Junior, North Dakota State (3.66, Electrical Engineering)
DT Jeremy Towns, Senior, Samford (3.85, Sports Medicine)
DL Blake Oliaro, Junior, San Diego (3.56, Mechanical Engineering)
OLB Scott Hyland, Junior, Liberty (3.93, Biology)
OLB Adewole Oyalowo, Junior, Brown (3.64, Neuroscience)
ILB Michael Runger, Junior, Dartmouth (3.76, Economics)
ILB Carson Smith, Sophomore, The Citadel (3.93, Electrical Engineering)
LB Austin Hasquet, Sophomore, Northern Arizona (4.00, Biomedical Science)
CB Matt Bianco, Sophomore, Dayton (3.60, Pre-Med)
CB Brandon McCladdie, Junior, The Citadel (3.59 Sports Management & Administration)
SS Cooper Taylor, Senior, Richmond (3.63 Business Administration/Management)
FS Davon Moore, Sophomore, Delaware State (3.84, Physical Education)
DB Jeff Minnerly, Senior, Eastern Washington (3.78, Finance/Electrical Engineering)
K John Shaughnessy, Senior, Northwestern State (3.69, Biology)
K Sam Eberwein, Senior, Campbell (4.00, Pharmacy Doctorate/MBA)
P Marco Kano, Junior, Delaware State (3.98, Physics)
P Bobby Wenzig, Junior, Alabama State (3.65, Finance)
P Austin Pucylowski, Junior, Southern Illinois (4.00, Biological Sciences/Pre-Med)
KR Tony Washington, Junior, Appalachian State (3.77, Architectural Design)
KR Ryan Spadola, Junior, Lehigh (3.31, Supply Chain Management)
PR Jason Schneider, Sophomore, South Dakota State (3.98, Pre-Pharmacy)
PR Niccolo Mastromatteo, Junior, Coastal Carolina (4.00, Philosophy)
LS Jason Stegman, Senior, Southern Illinois (3.73, Electrical Engineering)