South Dakota State University running back Kyle Minett
is a repeat selection to the first team and defensive back Conrad Kjerstad
is a second-team honoree on the ESPN The Magazine
Academic All-America Football Team, which was announced Tuesday afternoon.
A junior running back from Ruthton, Minn., Minett has compiled a 3.60 grade-point average while majoring in economics. He finished the 2009 regular season ranked fifth in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision for rushing with an average of 106.6 yards per game and also ranks tied for 19th in scoring with an average of 8.18 points per game with 15 touchdowns — 14 rushing, one receiving. With 1,173 yards rushing this season, Minett became the first SDSU running back to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons since career rushing leader Josh Ranek in 1998 and 1999. Minett currently ranks sixth in career rushing at SDSU with 2,938 yards.
Minett is one of five repeat selections to the University Division First Team, along with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, senior defensive lineman Brandon Wingeier of Dayton (Ohio), senior linebacker Josh Hull of Penn State and senior defensive back Beau Hadley of Weber State (Utah).
A two-time Academic All-District VII honoree, Kjerstad makes his first appearance on the Academic All-America squad with a 3.93 GPA in agricultural business. The Wall native has started all 11 games this season and leads the team with four pass breakups, ranks in a tie for second with four interceptions and stands third with 76 tackles for a Jackrabbit defense that leads the FCS ranks in pass efficiency defense. His nine career interceptions are the most by an active Jackrabbit player.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.