More than 50 Penn State football student-athletes post 3.0 or higher spring GPA

June 11, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State football team produced a record-setting academic performance during the 2015 spring semester with 51 squad members earning at least a 3.0 grade-point average. This marks the first time in program history that the Nittany Lions have had more than 50 student-athletes with a 3.0 or better in the spring semester. The 51 Nittany Lions with a 3.0 or higher tie for the second-highest total in program history.

A total of 18 Nittany Lions earned Dean's List recognition in the spring semester with a 3.5 or higher GPA with at least 12 credit hours. Overall, 44 football student-athletes own a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher after the spring semester with 19 posting a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher.

"We are so proud of the accomplishments of our team in the classroom in this academic year," Head Coach James Franklin said. "Our guys have taken our challenge to compete in the classroom and on the field and it shows with this latest grade report from the spring semester. We want our players to have a world-class experience that will prepare them for life after Penn State."

The 51 football student-athletes with 3.0 semester GPA or higher trails only the record 55 honorees from the 2008 fall semester and ties the mark set in the 2015 fall semester. The mark is also an improvement from the 46 student-athletes with a 3.0 or higher GPA in the 2014 spring semester.

Senior safety Ryan Keiser (Selinsgrove), who was a 2014 CoSIDA Academic All-District® selection, posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring while working on his graduate degree. Fellow CoSIDA Academic All-District® selection, Tyler Yazujian (Royersford) notched a 3.90 GPA in the spring to bring his cumulative GPA to an impressive 3.86.

Among the Nittany Lions to make the Dean's List in the spring semester are: Keiser, Yazujian cornerback Kyle Alston (Robbinsville, N.J.), wide receiver Gordon Bentley (Ambler), wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J.), long snapper Sean Corcoran (Bourbonnais, Ill.), guard Evan Galimberti (State College), wide receiver Gregg Garrity (Pittsburgh), tight end/h-back Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J.), kicker/punter Chris Gulla (Toms River, N.J.), linebacker Ben Kline (Silver Valley), center Angelo Mangiro (Roxbury, N.J.), linebacker Troy Reeder (Wilmington, Del.), fullback Dom Salomone (Dillsburg), fullback Brandon Smith (Winfield) and running back Johnathan Thomas (Peabody, Mass.).

The outstanding academic performance is the latest success in a long line of academic achievement for members of the Penn State football program, who consistently are at or near the top nationally in academic success:


  • A Big Ten Conference-high 16 members of the Penn State football team had earned their degrees prior to the Nittany Lions' win in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl to rank in the top 10 percent among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions. Among the 16 graduates are returning seniors Kyle Carter, Kline, Mangiro and Matt Zanellato;
  • Penn State's 87 percent graduation success rate was second-highest in the Big Ten and tied for No. 13 overall among the nation's 128 FBS institutions, according to 2014 NCAA data. The 87 percent figure was tied for the football program's second-highest graduation rate (with 2011);
  • The Nittany Lions' 87 percent football graduation success rate was tied for No. 5 among all public FBS institutions. Penn State's graduation figure was 16 points higher than the 71 percent FBS average and was second to Northwestern among Big Ten institutions, according to the NCAA;
  • Penn State's all-time total of 63 Academic All-America® football honorees ranks third among all FBS institutions;
  • The Nittany Lions' 18 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® over the past nine years (16 first-team selections) leads the nation;
  • Penn State has had a least one first team ESPN Academic All-American® in nine of the past 11 seasons;
  • A total of 348 of Penn State football student-athletes, including 20 in 2014, have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.

    The Nittany Lions open the 2015 campaign on the road against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday, September 5.

    Season tickets for the 2015 campaign are on sale, with more than 3,300 new season tickets having been sold. For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2015 season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.   

  • Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics logo - Lion head in blue and white
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated June 11, 2015