Four Nittany Lions earn Academic All-District Football honors

November 08, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Four Penn State student-athletes have been selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Football Team as selected by CoSIDA. They will be eligible for consideration for the Academic All-America Team.

Penn State's four honorees are: defensive end Brad Bars (Nashville, Tenn.), linebacker Ben Kline (Seen Valleys), defensive end Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) and guard John Urschel (Williamsville, N.Y.). Massaro and Urschel have already earned their degrees.

Penn State's four Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees are tied for the most among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions with Duke, Nebraska and Northern Illinois. The quartet of honorees are the most for the Nittany Lions since having four in 2009.

The Nittany Lions' contingent is led by junior John Urschel, who earns Academic All-District accolades for the second consecutive year. A starter in all nine games this season for Coach Bill O'Brien's Nittany Lions, Urschel graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average last May in math and is working on a master's degree in math. He served the student marshal for the Penn State math graduates at the Spring 2012 Commencement.

Also headlining Penn State's Academic All-District 2 Team honorees is senior Pete Massaro, a 2010 first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American. He graduated in December 2011 with a 3.85 grade-point average in finance and is on schedule to earn a second degree, in economics, in December. Massaro missed the 2011 season with a serious knee injury and was not eligible to be nominated for Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration last year.

Earning their first Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection are junior Brad Bars and sophomore Ben Kline. Bars owns a 3.84 GPA in finance and Kline has a 3.92 GPA in the Smeal College of Business.

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 4.00 and have achieved sophomore athletic eligibility.

The Nittany Lion football team has had a least one first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American in seven of the past eight seasons. Penn State leads the nation with 15 Academic All-Americans over the past six years (13 first-team selections), including a program record five in 2008.

Penn State's 49 Academic All-Americans all-time rank No. 3 in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

In October, NCAA data revealed that the Penn State Football student-athletes earned a program record 91 percent Graduation Success Rate, tied for No. 7 among the nation's 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.

Penn State (6-3, 4-1) has won six of its last seven games and visits No. 18/16 Nebraska on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN2). The Nittany Lions are facing the Cornhuskers in Lincoln for the first time since 2003. The traditional powers began playing annually in 2011 as Big Ten cross division rivals.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 09, 2012