Urschel, Kline earn Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State student-athletes Ben Kline (Seven Valleys) and John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.) have been selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Football Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). They will be eligible for consideration for the Academic All-America Team.

A senior, Urschel was a 2012 first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American and earns Academic All-District accolades for the third consecutive year. Kline, a redshirt sophomore, earns his second consecutive Academic All-District selection.

Urschel will have an opportunity to become the 11th Nittany Lion to earn first team Academic All-America honors twice. He is among the eight Nittany Lions who have already earned their degrees. A starter in all 20 games the past two seasons for Coach Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions, Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in math, earned his master’s degree in math in one year, and is working on a second master’s in math education.

A 2012 first-team All-Big Ten guard, Urschel recently was named a prestigious National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, earning $18,000 for post-graduate studies. In addition to being among the finalists for the NFF’s William V. Campbell Trophy, Urschel also is among 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.

A linebacker, Kline owns a 3.90 GPA as a finance major in the Smeal College of Business. He made his first career start in last week’s win over Illinois and recorded a career-best eight tackles. Kline has been slowed by a shoulder injury this season, but has 14 tackles, with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack in his five games.

Another of Penn State’s 2012 Academic All-District selections, defensive end Brad Bars, has not played this season due to an achilles tendon injury and was not eligible to be nominated for Academic All-America consideration this year. A junior, he has a 3.78 GPA in finance.

Penn State has led, or been tied for first, in first-team Academic All-America selections among FBS institutions in four of the past five years. The Nittany Lions’ 17 Academic All-Americans since 2006 (15 first-team) leads the nation. The Penn State football team has had a least one first-team Academic All-American in nine of the past 11 years (17 overall selections).

Penn State has had 51 Academic All-Americans all-time to rank No. 3 in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs.

The Capital One Academic All-District Football Team was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a scale of 4 and have achieved sophomore academic eligibility.

In October, NCAA data revealed that the Penn State Football student-athletes earned an 85 percent Graduation Success Rate, second among Big Ten Conference institutions and in the top 10 percent among the nation’s 124 FBS institutions.

Penn State (5-3. 2-2) visits Minnesota (7-2, 3-2) on Saturday, with the kick at noon on ESPN2. The game also will air on the Penn State Sports Network (10:30 a.m. airtime) and www.GoPSUsports.com

Tickets are available for the Nittany Lions’ last two home games against Purdue (noon Nov. 16, Military Appreciation Day) and Nebraska (TBA Nov. 23, Senior Day). For information on single game tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, visit www.gopsusports.com/tickets/psu-tickets.html or call 800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pre-paid single game parking passes for the general parking lots ($10) are also available at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets.

Penn State Athletics is on Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions).

Last Updated November 07, 2013