Playing this Friday for a national championship, seniors are honored for their achievements as student-athletes at EWU
For a complete listing of the 52 members of the Football Championship Subdivision Academic All-Star Team, click here.
Eastern Washington University Senior tight end Matt Martin and senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt are among the 52 winners of the 13th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team announced by the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Tuesday (Jan. 4). There were 92 total nominees, and they bring to 11 the number of Eastern players who have won the award since it began in 1998.
Martin has a 3.76 grade point average as a double major in communications and finance, and is a 2006 graduate of La Crosse-Washtucna High School. Sherritt, a 2006 graduate of Pullman (Wash.) High School, has already earned numerous All-America honors on the field in 2009 and is a leading candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in FCS. The senior linebacker is a health and fitness major with a 3.46 GPA.
Both players will be selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the fourth time when that squad is announced later in January. On Friday (Jan. 7), they will be playing in the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is 4 p.m. Pacific time and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
Martin is the only senior to have played in all 50 games for the Eagles in the past four seasons, helping the Eagles to a 35-15 record overall and 24-8 Big Sky Conference mark. He has started 18 games at tight end, and has 13 catches for 116 yards this season to go along with career totals of 39 receptions for 349 yards and three touchdowns.
Sherritt, a leading candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in FCS, is EWU's leading tackler thus far with 158 for the season (second in school history behind his junior season total of 170), an average of 11.29 per game that ranks 10th in FCS. Last season, he led FCS with an average of just over 14 per game.
Sherritt also has three sacks, 13 1/2 total tackles for loss (40 yards), three interceptions, five passes broken up, two quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 2010.
Earlier in the playoffs in a 38-31 overtime victory over North Dakota State, Sherritt broke the school record of 399 career tackles previously held by Greg Belzer (1997-2000). He capped his record-breaking night by forcing the fumble that was recovered by EWU to end the game with NDSU at the Eastern 1-yard line. He added eight tackles versus Villanova in the FCS semifinals, giving him 414 in his 46-game career (34 as a starter).
"The FCS ADA looks forward to honoring the accomplishments of its football student-athletes each year with the announcement of the Academic All-Star Team," said FCS ADA President Greg Burke, chair of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and athletics director at Northwestern State University. "The dedication by these young men to perform successfully both on the field of competition and in the classroom epitomizes the definition of a Division I student-athlete."
Football players from all Football Championship Subdivision institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. 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.
Additionally, from the Academic All-Star team, eight finalists were selected for the 10th Annual FCS ADA's $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. Two student-athletes will receive postgraduate scholarships during the Association's annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, being held at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida., June 16-18, 2011.
The finalists are seniors Chance Coda, Southern Illinois, DL, 4.0; Kyle Glazier, Western Illinois, LB, 3.88; Tim McGraw, Northern Colorado, OF, 4.0; Travis Nissley, Bucknell, LB, 3.96; Dave Pickard, Southern Illinois, OL, 4.0; Tanner Scott, Dartmouth, WR, 3.83; Erik Stoll, Montana, DB, 3.92; and Brandon Wingeier, Dayton, DL, 3.78.
A special Review Committee of Football Championship Subdivision athletics directors was responsible for selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Greg Burke, Northwestern State (chair); Peter Fields, Montana State; Brian Hutchinson, Morehead State; Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth; Ron Strollo, Youngstown State; and Jeff Tingey, Idaho State.
About the FCS ADA: Now in its 18th year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 46th year. For more information on NACDA and the 11 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.