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Three Football Student-Athletes Named to Academic All-District Team

Three Penn State football players were named to the Capital One Academic All-District Football Team today to tie for the best mark in the Big Ten.

Fifth-year seniors defensive end Brad Bars and safety Ryan Keiser, and sophomore kick snapper Tyler Yazujian were the three Penn Staters selected, coupled with Purdue for best in the conference, and second-highest among the six states in District II comprising FBS and FCS institutions. The honorees are chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The three players are now eligible for consideration for the Academic All-America Team.

Bars graduated in May with a degree in finance and a 3.66 grade-point average. After missing 2013 due to an injury, Bars has made seven tackles this year while appearing in every game in both defensive and special teams roles.

Keiser, one of Penn State’s captains, graduated over the summer with a kinesiology degree. Prior to his injury that ended his season before the Ohio State game, Keiser had played in 42 of 43 possible games. He was third on the team with 25 tackles at the time of his injury, and also had an interception in 2014.

Yazujian boasts a 3.82 grade-point average in information sciences and technology. An overlooked skill, he’s delivered 81 perfect snaps on extra points, field goals, and punts.

Academic success is no new achievement to Penn State athletics. The NCAA recently released a report that shows the university’s football graduation rate ranks No. 13 in the FBS.

The press release also notes that Penn State’s 18 Academic All-American selections over the past eight years lead the nation. It has had at least one first-team Academic All-American in 10 of the last 12 seasons, and 19 first-team selections since 2002. Nittany Lion football student-athletes have collected a whopping 63 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections all-time. That’s the second highest amongst FBS schools, trailing only fellow Big Ten member Nebraska.

Guard John Urschel was a first-team Academic All-American last year, for the second time in a row.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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