Senior biology/pre-med majors are honored on the Athletic Director's Association Academic All-Star Team
Eastern Washington University football biology/pre-med majors Chris Thomas and Jacob Kragt are among the 55 recipients on the 12th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team as selected by the FCS ADA. There were 86 total nominees, and the winners were announced Friday (Dec. 18) prior to the FCS championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Earlier in the 2009 season, both Thomas and Kragt were repeat selections on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII squad as selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA). Kragt went on to win prestigious Academic All-America honors, including both FCS and NCAA Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.
Kragt, a 2005 graduate of Ritzville (Wash.) High School, was also selected in both 2007 and 2008. Thomas was chosen to the squad in 2008 and is a 2005 graduate of Sumner (Wash.) High School. Both players will be selected to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team for a fourth-straight time when the squad is announced in January 2010.
Football players from all FCS institutions were eligible for FCS ADA award. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
They are the eighth and ninth members to be selected to that squad since it originated in 1998. Other former Eagles who have won the award include tight end Tom McAndrews (2007), linebacker Joey Cwik (2005), wide receiver Kyler Randall (2003), offensive tackle Kurt Sigler (2003), quarterback Josh Blankenship (2002), center Aaron Best (1999) and running back Mike MacKenzie (1998). Best is currently Eastern's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Kragt has a 3.89 grade point average and will attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa as he plans on becoming the ninth family member, spanning three generations, to become a chiropractor. Thomas has a 3.78 grade point average and is currently applying to medical schools, but is also hoping to get an opportunity to play professional football.
Kragt started all 12 games at defensive end and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2009, finishing with 30 total tackles, 4 1/2 sacks, three fumble recoveries and six quarterback hurries. He started 13 career games, and had 73 total tackles with six sacks in his 44-game Eagle career.
Thomas, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman, started 30 of the 39 EWU games he played at Eastern. He earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors as a junior and senior, and was given EWU's "Triple-Threat Citizen" award for academics and community service in spring 2008.