Four Ohio Valley Conference football student-athletes were among the 54 total winners named to the 15th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team presented by KP Sports.
Football players from all FCS institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
The selections included Eastern Illinois kicker Cameron Berra and offensive lineman Dominic Pagliara, Eastern Kentucky offensive lineman Patrick Ford and Tennessee Tech wide receiver Cody Matthews.
In addition to being named to the Academic All-Star Team, EKU’s Ford was one of six finalists selected for the 12th Annual FCS ADA’s $5,000 Postgraduate Scholarships presented by KP Sports. Two student-athletes will receive postgraduate scholarships during the Association’s annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the NACDA Convention, being held at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla., June 13-15.
Berra was a first team All-Ohio Valley Conference kicker this season as he was 12-of-13 on field goal attempts and 48-of-52 on PAT’s. Berra led the Panthers in scoring with 84 points as EIU won the OVC regular season championship and made its 14th FCS playoff appearance. Berra holds a 3.77 GPA.
Pagliara helped anchor an offensive line that smashed the EIU offensive record books ranking in the top ten nationally in passing offense, scoring offense and total offense. Pagliara helped block for a 1,000 yard rusher and 3,800 yard passer. Pagliara holds a 3.70 GPA.
Ford was in his third year as a starter on the offensive line until he suffered a season-ending injury on Sept. 29 at UT Martin. He lined up at both guard and tackle in his time with the Colonels, but spent the majority of the 2011 and 2012 seasons at left tackle. Ford earned his undergraduate degree last spring and was named to the 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District first team in November. Ford had a 3.90 grade point average.
Matthews, who has a 3.78 grade point average, was second on the Tennessee Tech team with 28 receptions for 477 yards (17.0 yards/catch) this season. Matthews hauled in four touchdowns during the year.
“The FCS ADA is pleased to honor the accomplishments of our football student-athletes each year with our Academic All-Star Team,” said FCS ADA President Ron Strollo, director of athletics at Youngstown State University. “The accolades of these young men both in the classroom and on the field epitomize the definition of student-athlete and our Association looks forward to recognizing their accomplishments annually.”