Program-Record 22 Spartan Football Players Earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors
Matt Macksood, Tyler O'Connor and Josiah Price garner Academic All-Big Ten accolades for the fourth time.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – A program-record 22 Michigan State football players have been named to the 2016 Academic All-Big Ten Team: junior offensive guard Brian Allen, fifth-year senior wide receiver Edward Barksdale III, sophomore linebacker Byron Bullough, redshirt freshman offensive tackle Cole Chewins, fifth-year senior kicker Kevin Cronin, fifth-year senior wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos, junior linebacker Chris Frey, senior kicker Michael Geiger, sophomore offensive guard Chase Gianacakos, sophomore punter Jake Hartbarger, fifth-year senior defensive end Evan Jones, fifth-year senior safety Zac Leimbach, fifth-year senior wide receiver/holder Matt Macksood, fifth-year senior offensive lineman Benny McGowan, sophomore safety Grayson Miller, sophomore safety Matt Morrissey, fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor, fifth-year tight end Josiah Price, sophomore tight end Matt Sokol, sophomore wide receiver Brandon Sowards, sophomore linebacker Tyriq Thompson and sophomore safety Khari Willis.
To be eligible for the Academic All-Big Ten Team, a student-athlete must be a letterwinner who is in at least his second academic year and carry a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale). Chewins is the only football player on the 2016 Academic All-Big Ten Team who carries a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Michigan State’s list of honorees includes 13 multi-year selections. Macksood, O’Connor and Price become members of a select group, as just 25 Spartans in the history of the program have earned All-Big Ten honors four times. Geiger and McGowan are featured on the academic all-conference team for the third straight year, while Allen, Barksdale, Bullough, Frey, Hartbarger, Leimbach, Morrissey and Sowards made the honor roll for the second year in a row.
In 10 seasons under Mark Dantonio, student-athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten 136 times, including two of three highest single-season totals in program history (record 22 in 2016; 17 in 2013 was third highest). The previous single-season record was 18 in 2005.
2016 Michigan State Academic All-Big Ten Team (22)
Name (Number of times selected), Academic Major (GPA)
Brian Allen (2), Economics (3.31)
Edward Barksdale (2), Human Biology (3.55)
Byron Bullough (2) , Economics (3.54)
Cole Chewins (1), Business (4.00)
Kevin Cronin (1), Economics (3.04)
Frank Epitropoulos (1), Human Biology (3.67)
Chris Frey (2), Advertising (3.01)
Michael Geiger (3), Applied Engineering Sciences (3.07)
Chase Gianacakos (1), Supply Chain Management (3.68)
Jake Hartbarger (2), Hospitality Business (3.48)
Evan Jones (1), Media and Information (3.12)
Zac Leimbach (2), Packaging (3.44)
Matt Macksood (4), Human Resources & Labor Relations (3.40)
Benny McGowan (3), Criminal Justice (3.46)
Grayson Miller (1), General Management (3.50)
Matt Morrissey (2), Finance (3.58)
Tyler O’Connor (4), Marketing Research (3.56)
Josiah Price (4), Hospitality Business (3.62)
Matt Sokol (1), Economics (3.01)
Brandon Sowards (2), Economics (3.11)
Tyriq Thompson (1), Interdisciplinary Studies In Social Science (3.28)
Khari Willis (1), Political Science (3.09)