With addition of kicker and his holder, Eastern has now had 13 players receive the award since its inaugural year in 1998
Eastern Washington University senior kicker Mike Jarrett and junior safety Jeff Minnerly are among the 58 players selected to the 14th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team announced Tuesday (Jan. 3) by the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA).
With the addition of Eastern’s kicker and his holder, a total of 13 Eastern players have been honored since the award was started in 1998. There were 92 total nominees from FCS schools throughout the nation.
Jarrett has a 3.45 grade point average as a double major in communications and government with a minor in business administration. He is a 2007 graduate of Puyallup (Wash.) High School. Minnerly, a 2008 graduate of Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., has a 3.82 GPA as a finance major with a minor in economics.
Jarrett finished his career with four school records, and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors in 2011. Minnerly earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors for the second-straight season, and finished his junior campaign ranked second on the team with 77 tackles. Both players will be selected to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the third time when the teams are announced later in January.
An impressive 16-of-18 kicking field goals in the 2011 season, Jarrett broke the previous school record for field goals of 15. He closed the year ranked ninth in the NCAA Football Subdivision with an average of 1.45 makes per game, and his .889 percentage ranked third in FCS among kickers with at least eight attempts. He made field goals of 28 and 41 yards in EWU’s come-from-behind 42-35 win in overtime over Sacramento State on Oct. 22 to earn Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors. He made 38-of-39 extra point attempts as a senior.
Jarrett broke Eastern’s career record for kick scoring by tallying nine points in EWU’s season-ending 45-14 win over Idaho State on Nov. 19. He made a 23-yard field goal on the final play of the second half to break the record of 231 held by Troy Griggs (1999-01), and he went on to finish with 236 in his career to rank 16th in Big Sky Conference history. He also finished his career with school records for career extra points made (143) and attempted (150). He broke the previous records of 120 makes and 126 attempts set by Griggs. Jarrett finished his career with 31 field goals (third in school history) on 47 attempts (fourth).
No Big Sky record exists for field goal accuracy, but Jarrett’s mark of .889 in 2011 (16-of-18) exceeds the percentage of all of the top 26 players in league history for single season points per game. Of the top 27 kickers on the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision list for single season field goals, only two performances were better than Jarrett’s .889 mark -- .963 (26-of-27) and .893 (25-of-28).
Off the field, Jarrett has assisted the Cheney Parks and Recreation in the ECHO Before and After School Program. He also volunteered at Salnave Elementary School by spending 30-40 hours helping students with their school work and organizing school activities and games. His brother, Bryan, was an All-Big Sky Conference safety for the Eagles in 2005 and 2007 after transferring from Western Washington University.
Besides his 77 tackles, Minnerly finished the 2011 season with seven tackles for loss, an interception and two passes broken up. He closed his junior campaign with a career-high 13 tackles in a 42-14 victory over Idaho State. He also broke-up a pass and had two tackles for loss, as the Eagles out-gained ISU 578-363 in total offense.
Minnerly had a diving interception in the end zone to squelch a potential game-tying scoring threat with 2:35 left to play in EWU’s 36-28 victory at Northern Arizona on Oct. 10. He finished that game with a team-high and career-high 12 tackles.
He has already won a variety of academic honors as an Eagle, including Capital One Academic All-District accolades as selected by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) as a junior in 2011 and as a sophomore in 2010. A year ago, he won the “Elite 88” Award for having the highest GPA among participants in the 2010 NCAA FCS Championship Game. Eastern won that game 20-19, as Minnerly finished with two passes broken up and two tackles.
In his 31-game Eastern career – 17 as a starter –Minnerly has 127 total tackles with four interceptions, eight passes broken up, two forced fumbles and 10 tackles for loss.
Minnerly was a 4.0 student at Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., where he excelled in football and basketball. . . In both 2010 and 2011, he was honored as EWU’s Student-Athlete of the Month.
NCAA Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors
Academic All-Star Team
2011 - Jeff Minnerly, Safety
2011 – Mike Jarrett, Kicker
2010 - J.C. Sherritt, Linebacker
2010 - Matt Martin, Tight End
2009 - Chris Thomas, Offensive Tackle
2009 - Jacob Kragt, Defensive End
2007 - Tom McAndrews, Tight End
2005 - Joey Cwik, Linebacker
2003 - Kyler Randall, Wide Receiver
2003 - Kurt Sigler, Offensive Tackle
2002 - Josh Blankenship, Quarterback
1999 - Aaron Best, Center
1998 - Mike MacKenzie, Running Back
More About the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team . . .
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, 12 finalists were selected for the 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 Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, June 25-28, 2012.
The finalists are seniors Justin Aldredge, Northwestern State, TE, 3.90; Mitch Allen, Wofford, QB, 3.96; Tim Bolte, Bucknell, LB, 3.93; Ben Boothby, Northern Iowa, DT, 3.89; Yaser Elqutub, Northwestern State, LB, 3.85; Jordan Haynes, Yale, LB, 3.62; Kalan Jenkins, Georgia State, NG, 3.94; Marcus Lott, Coastal Carolina, S, 3.91; Mike McCabe, Holy Cross, OT, 3.62; Mike McElroy, Southern Illinois, S, 3.73; Matt Rae, Rhode Island, DT, 3.71; and Patrick Witt, Yale, QB, 3.91.
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 Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth (chair); Greg Burke, Northwestern State; Charlie Cobb, Appalachian State; Brian Hutchinson, Morehead State; Ron Strollo, Youngstown State; and Jeff Tingey, Idaho State.
"The FCS ADA is honored to recognize the accomplishments of our football student-athletes each year with the Academic All-Star team," said McNeil, chair of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and vice-president/director of athletics at Monmouth University. "These young men compete successfully both on the field and in the classroom and truly epitomize the definition of a student-athlete."
About the FCS ADA: Now in its 19th 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 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.