ST. LOUIS - For the seventh consecutive season, the South Dakota State University football team leads its conference in the number of all-academic selections. Wednesday, nine Jackrabbit players were honored on the 2011 all-Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team.
Receiving first-team recognition via a vote of the league's sports information directors was senior tight end Brad Iverson. A Sioux Falls native, Iverson has compiled a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while majoring in pre-medicine and biochemistry. During the recently completed 2011 season, Iverson played in all 11 games and recorded three receptions for 21 yards. He was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy earlier this fall and was named to the MVFC All-Academic Second Team in 2010.
Four other Jackrabbits received second-team recognition, including a pair of offensive linemen.
Junior Alex Olinger was a repeat selection to the second team after posting a 3.98 GPA while majoring in pre-medicine, pharmacy and biology. An Ames, Iowa, native, Olinger was battling for a starting posting at guard before suffering a season-ending injury three games into the 2011 season.
Sophomore Taylor Suess received academic recognition for the first time with a 3.93 GPA in mechanical engineering. A native of Columbus, Neb., Suess played in 10 games with a pair of starts as he was part of the regular rotation at left guard.
A junior from Childress, Texas, Helm started 10 of 11 games in 2011 at either safety or cornerback and compiled 55 tackles and four pass breakups. He carries a 3.46 GPA while majoring in biology.
Hubert ranked third on the team with 34 receptions for 485 yards and two touchdowns. A sophomore from Gretna, Neb., he has caught a pass in 21 of 22 career games. In the classroom, Hubert has posted a 3.53 GPA while majoring in pre-pharmacy/Certified ACS Chemistry.
Buchner, a senior offensive lineman from Coon Rapids, Minn., made the squad with a 3.35 GPA in pharmacy and chemistry. He played in all 11 games during the 2011 season, making three starts.
Daughters opened the season as the Jackrabbits' starting tight end, but went down with a season-ending injury in the season opener against Southern Utah. A junior from Winner, Daughters has compiled a 3.69 GPA in health promotion.
Kool led the Jackrabbits in rushing with 534 yards and four touchdowns during the 2011 season. A junior from Yankton, he has turned in a 3.22 GPA while majoring in business economics.
Shafrath has compiled a 3.42 GPA while majoring in park and recreation management. A junior linebacker from Hampton, Iowa, Shafrath recorded 66 tackles and two interceptions as he played in all 11 games with a pair of starts.
Nominees must be starters or important reserves with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average. Student-athletes must have reached sophomore academic and athletic standing at their institutions and must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution. A total of 40 players were recognized on the first, second or honorable mention squads.
The Jackrabbits have led the Missouri Valley Football Conference in number of all-academic team selections in each of their four seasons (2008-11) as a member of the league. Previously, SDSU led the Great West Football Conference in all-academic honorees from 2005-07.