The Penn State football team’s academic performance for the spring semester was announced today, and it was impressive. Forty-six members of the team earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average, with three players earning a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Twenty-four of the student athletes posted a 3.5 GPA or higher, and 21 earned Dean’s List recognition. Forty-one of the 46 student athletes are returning for the 2014 season.
Two seniors who graduated in May, defensive tackle Kyle Baublitz and fullback Pat Zerbe, earned a 4.0, joined by redshirt freshman placekicker Chris Gulla.
True freshmen standouts who earned a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester included quarterback Christian Hackenberg, and tight end Adam Breneman. Other freshmen included are guard Evan Galimberti, tackle Andrew Nelson, and linebacker/kick returner Von Walker.
Other returning players who made the Dean’s List include wide receiver Gregg Garrity, safety Ryan Keiser, linebacker Ben Kline, kick snapper Zach Ladonis, cornerback Jesse Merise, quarterback Michael O’Connor and receiver Matt Zanellato.
Kline has been selected to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team the past two years and will be among consideration for Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration.
“Our goal is to have the No. 1 college football organization in the country and it all starts with academics and ends with academics,” Franklin said in the press release. “To see our players prospering academically, being successful in the classroom and graduating is what it’s all about.”
Other returners who had at least a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA included defensive end Brad Bars, linebacker Brandon Bell, tight end Kyle Carter, safety Jesse Della Valle, guard Miles Dieffenbach, placekicker Sam Ficken, wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, linebacker Mike Hull and running back Deron Thompson.
The Nittany Lions’ 18 Academic All-Americans over the past eight seasons (16 first-team) leads the nation. The Penn State football team has had at least one first-team Academic All-American in 10 of the past 12 seasons (19 overall first-team selections since 2002).