Schneider, Zenner lead academic award winners
South Dakota State University football players Jason Schneider and Zach Zenner were named Wednesday to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team for their efforts both on the field and in the classroom.
A junior wide receiver from Andover, Minn., Schneider has compiled a 3.98 grade-point average while majoring in pharmacy. Schneider has led the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 72 receptions (5.5 per game) and 1,007 receiving yards (77.5 yards per game), while adding 10 touchdowns.
Zenner, a second-team Academic All-American in 2012, moved up to the first team this season with a 3.85 GPA while majoring in biology/pre-medicine. A junior from Eagan, Minn., Zenner has racked up a Football Championship Subdivision-best 1,944 yards rushing so far this season, along with 24 total touchdowns (22 rushing, 2 receiving).
South Dakota State and Michigan State were the only schools to have two players named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, which is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Schneider and Zenner also were among six Jackrabbits to be honored Wednesday on the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team.
Joining the duo on the first team was senior offensive lineman Taylor Suess. A two-year starter — at guard in 2012 and at center this season — Suess has turned in a 3.98 GPA as a mechanical engineering major. He was a repeat selection to the first team, along with Zenner; Schneider was a second-team honoree in 2012.
Second-team honors went to senior wide receiver Brandon Hubert for the third consecutive year. A native of Gretna, Neb., Hubert has compiled a 3.70 GPA as a pharmacy and ACS certified chemistry major. A member of the Jackrabbit top 10 for career receptions (135) and receiving yards (1,733), Hubert ranks second on the squad with 35 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdowns.
Honorable mention all-academic honors went to senior linebacker R.C. Kilgore and junior punter Ethan Sawyer. Kilgore, a native of Cottage Grove, Minn., leads the team with 122 tackles and five fumble recoveries, while posting a 3.40 GPA in health, physical education and recreation.
Sawyer, from Brandon, has recorded a 3.85 GPA while majoring in biology/pre-medicine. He has averaged 40.5 yards per punt attempt this season, while landing 17 of his 62 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
League sports information directors voted on the team by designating 11 players for first-team honors and 11 players for second-team honors.