Three Terps earn ACC all-academic honors
Three members of the Maryland football team were named Wednesday to the 2009 ACC all-academic team. Junior punter Travis Baltz was so recognized for the third time in his career; only 11 players in ACC history have been named to the list four times. Freshman defensive tackle A.J. Francis and junior offensive tackle Paul Pinegar made their first appearance on the 42-man list.
Baltz is majoring in business, Francis is majoring in letters & sciences and Pinegar is majoring in history.
According to a release issued by the ACC, players must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during their academic careers in order to be eligible for the conference's all-academic honors. The ACC has selected an all-academic football team each season since 1954.
Here is the ACC's full release:
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference’s statistical leaders in total offense and touchdown responsibility and 10 players who earned first-team, second-team or honorable mention All-Conference honors this past season secured spots on the 42-member 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Football Team, announced Wednesday by Commissioner John Swofford.
To be eligible for consideration, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career. All 12 ACC schools were represented by at least one selection on the team. The ACC has selected an ACC All-Academic Football team every year since 1954.
Leading the team were Florida State junior quarterback Christian Ponder (Coffeyville, Tex.), Pa.), who led the ACC in total offense, averaging 321.8 yards per game, and NC State quarterback Russell Wilson (Richmond, Va.), who led the conference in touchdown passes (31) and touchdown responsibility (35). Wilson’s TD pass total tied for the fourth-best effort in conference history, while his 35 TDR were the ACC’s third-best single-season total. Ponder, who received his bachelor’s degree after his redshirt-sophomore season, is currently completing the requirements for his MBA degree. His total offense average was the sixth-best effort in conference history. Ponder and Wilson both earned Honorable Mention All-ACC accolades last year.
Joining them on the All-Academic team were three first-team All-ACC honorees in Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Clemson tight end Michael Palmer (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Virginia Tech punter Brent Bowden (Centreville, Va.), as well as three second-team selections in Clemson guard Thomas Austin (Camden, S.C.), Duke linebacker Vincent Rey (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) and Duke placekicker Will Snyderwine (Potomac, Md.). Clemson linebacker Brandon Maye (Mobile, Ala.) joined Ponder and Wilson as honorable mention All-ACC choices.
In all, 10 of this year’s selections were repeat choices with Boston College placekicker Steve Aponavicius (Easton, Pa.) earning a berth on the team for the fourth year in a row. Aponavicius becomes the only the 11th player in ACC history to be selected to the ACC All-Academic Football team four times. He joins Ralph Lary of Maryland (1977-80), Travis Pearson of Duke (1990-93), Eddie Goines of NC State (1991-94), Daryl Bush of Florida State (1994-97), DaLawn Parrish of Wake Forest (1995, 97-99), Chris Hope of Florida State (1998-2001), Dan Dyke of Georgia Tech (1999-2002), Doug Justice of North Carolina (2002-05), Adam Podlesh of Maryland and Georgia Tech’s Travis Bell (2004-07) as the only four-time members of the team.
Three of the honorees are making their third appearance on the ACC All-Academic team in Castonzo, Austin and Maryland punter Travis Baltz (Whitehouse, Ohio). Six other players were selected to the Academic All-ACC team for the second time including Palmer, Bowden, Maye, Georgia Tech running back Roddy Jones (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Wake Forest punter-placekicker Shane Popham (Crestview Hills, Ky.) and Duke punter Kevin Jones (Austin, Tex.).
Duke led all ACC schools with 11 selections, followed by Clemson with seven; Virginia Tech and Boston College with 4 each; and Florida State, NC State and Maryland with three each. In all, four members of the team—Aponavicius of Boston College, Austin of Clemson, Ponder of Florida State and Slebonick of Virginia--have already graduated and were in graduate school or pursuing a second bachelor’s degree this past fall.
February 17, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
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