Feb. 16, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State placed four players on the 2008 ACC Academic Football Team announced by the conference on Monday. Andrew Datko, Christian Ponder, Myron Rolle and Kendrick Stewart all were included among the 40-member team. This is the third selection for Rolle as he becomes just the seventh Seminole ever to be a three-time member of the team. All three of the other Seminoles were selected for the first time in their careers.
The Defensive Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the league’s all-purpose yardage leader and eight players who earned first or second-team, All-Conference honors this past season also secured spots on the 2008 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Football Team, as announced 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.
Leading the team were Boston College junior linebacker Mark Herzlich (Wayne, Pa.), who was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year after a sterling junior campaign leading the nation’s 5th-ranked defense and Clemson’s C. J. Spiller (Lake Butler, Fla.), one of the ACC’s most versatile offensive threats, who led the league in all-purpose yardage. Herzlich finished the year tied for the nation’s lead in interceptions by a linebacker with six, while Spiller accumulated 1,770 all-purpose yards and earned first-team All-ACC honors.
Joining them on the All-Academic team were six other ACC players who earned first or second-team all-conference honors in first-team honorees Maryland center Edwin Williams (Washington, D.C.) and punter Travis Baltz (Whitehouse, Ohio) as well as second-team selections Clemson center Thomas Austin (Camden, S.C.), Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (Hawthorn Wood, Ill.), Florida State safety Myron Rolle (Galloway, N.J.) and Georgia Tech defensive tackle Darryl Richard (Destrehan, La.).
Additionally, two members of the All-Academic team were named honorable mention All-ACC in Virginia Tech placekicker Dustin Keys (Stafford, Va.), who finished 7th nationally in fields goals, and Maryland tight end Dan Gronkowski (Amherst, N.Y.).
Richard, who actually received his MBA degree this past December, was honored at the 2008 ACC Football Championship Game as the Conference’s top senior scholar-athlete and the winner of the prestigious 2008 Jim Tatum Award.
Rolle, one of two three-time Academic All-ACC honorees on the team, was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship this past fall, and will continue his graduate education this coming year at Oxford University in England.
Boston College placekicker Steve Aponavicius (Easton, Pa.) also earned selection for the third year in a row, while 13 other players were selected to the Academic All-ACC team for the second time including Austin, Baltz, Gronkowksi, Herzlich, Richard, Williams, Clemson placekicker Mark Buccholz (Alpharetta, Ga.), North Carolina center Lowell Dyer (Durham, N.C.), Maryland placekicker Obi Egekeze (Augusta, Ga.), Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon (Centreville, Va.), NC State tackle Meares Green (Wilmington, N.C.), Clemson punter Jimmy Maners (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Wake Forest tight end Ben Wooster (Atlanta, Ga.).
Four quarterbacks earned selection to the team led by Florida State sophomore Ponder (Colleyville, Tx.), who has already received his bachelor’s degree and is currently in graduate school. Joining Ponder were Virginia Tech’s Glennon, Georgia Tech’s Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.), and NC State’s Harrison Beck (Clearwater, Fla.).
Maryland led all ACC schools with eight selections, followed by Clemson with five and Florida State, Georgia Tech and Boston College with 4 each. In all, 10 members of the team have already graduated and were in graduate school this past fall.