Four Academic All-District football picks nation's second most

University Park, Pa. — Four members of the Penn State football team have been selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District® Football Team. The Nittany Lions' total is second-highest in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The group is led by three Nittany Lions who earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® honors in 2008. Senior linebacker Josh Hull (Millheim) and senior kick snapper Andrew Pitz (Bettendorf, Iowa) were first team Academic All-Americans® and junior center Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) was selected a second team Academic All-American® last year.

They are joined on the 2009 Academic All-District® team by senior punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg), who earns the honor for the second consecutive year.

All four football student-athletes will be eligible for consideration for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® Team. Hull and Pitz have an opportunity to become just the seventh and eighth Penn State football student-athletes to earn Academic All-America® accolades twice. Tackle Gerald Cadogan became the sixth when he did so in 2007 and '08.

Penn State was second among FBS schools with its quartet of 2009 Academic All-District® selections. Fresno State led all FBS schools with five. Dayton and Marist also had five honorees within the University Division and North Dakota and South Dakota State joined Penn State with four honorees in the University Division.

Indiana and Northwestern were second among Big Ten Conference institutions with three Academic All-District® choices.

A three-year starter, Boone graduated in May, 2009 with a 3.56 grade point average in elementary and kindergarten education. He is a substitute teacher in the State College Area School District this fall.

A starter at middle linebacker in all 22 games the past two years, Hull owns a 3.56 GPA in environmental systems engineering. Winner of Penn State's prestigious Eric A. Walker Award last spring, the former Penns Valley High School standout is on schedule to graduate in December.

Pitz has effectively served as the long snapper on all kicking plays this season and handled snaps on all placements in 2008. He owns the squad's highest grade point average, graduating last May with a 3.93 in journalism. He is working on a second degree, in telecommunications.

Wisniewski is in his first year as the Nittany Lions' starting center after starting 12 games at guard last year. He is enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College and has a 3.89 grade point average in secondary education.

The ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District and All-America® Teams are selected by the 1,800 members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a scale of 4.00.

 

The Penn State football team has had a least one Academic All-American® in each of the past seven seasons, with Paul Posluszny being selected the 2006 Academic All-American® of the Year for the University Division. In 2008, Penn State had a school record four Academic All-Americans®.

During Joe Paterno's tenure, Penn State has had 42 Academic All-Americans®, with 31 earning first team honors. The Nittany Lions' all-time total of 44 Academic All-America® football players ranks third among all FBS institutions.

 

The No. 11/10 Nittany Lions (8-1, 4-1) host No. 15/12 Ohio State Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Beaver Stadium's 300th game. The clash will be televised by ABC to more than 70 percent of the nation, with ESPN2 airing the game outside the ABC coverage area. The Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com also will air the contest.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010