Dec. 7, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Thirteen Michigan State football players have been named to the 2011 Academic All-Big Ten Team: sophomore linebacker Max Bullough, junior running back Larry Caper, fifth-year senior quarterback Kirk Cousins, junior offensive guard John Deyo, fifth-year senior offensive guard Joel Foreman, sophomore defensive end Jeremy Gainer, red-shirt freshman center Travis Jackson, sophomore offensive guard Nate Klatt, sophomore quarterback Andrew Maxwell, fifth-year senior wide receiver Keith Nichol, junior center Ethan Ruhland, red-shirt freshman punter Mike Sadler and fifth-year senior wide receiver Brad Sonntag. The 13 Academic All-Big Ten selections are tied for the third-highest single-season total in MSU history (2004, 2010 and 2011).
To be eligible for the Academic All-Big Ten Team, a student-athlete must be a letterwinner in his second academic year and carry at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale). Sadler is one of four football players on the 2011 Academic All-Big Ten Team, who carries a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Michigan State's list of honorees includes eight multi-year selections. Cousins and Foreman became the 15th and 16th four-time Academic All-Big Ten selections in MSU history. Deyo, Nichol and Ruhland are featured on the academic all-conference team for the third-straight year, while Caper, Klatt and Maxwell have made the honor roll for the second year in a row.
"It's important that we continue to foster an environment that encourages and supports our student-athletes to pursue excellence, both in the classroom and on the playing field," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "With a Big Ten Legends Division title already on their resume, we congratulate these 13 student-athletes who represent Michigan State on the Academic All-Big Ten Team. They have done an outstanding job of managing their time, balancing the responsibilities that go along with being both a student and an athlete. They have set the standard for excellence in the classroom."
"As our standards and expectations have risen on the field under Coach Dantonio, so to have our achievements in the classroom," MSU Director of Academic Services for Student-Athletes Todd Edwards said. "These well-deserving Academic All Big Ten honorees reflect the program's commitment to overall excellence, and they are a big reason for the unprecedented cumulative benchmarks the team has set the last few years."
In the first five seasons under Dantonio, 56 student-athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten, including double-digit totals each of the last four years (2008-11).
2011 Academic All-Big Ten Team
Name (Hometown) Academic Major (GPA)
Max Bullough (Traverse City, Mich.) finance (3.93)
Larry Caper (Battle Creek, Mich.) advertising (3.03)
Kirk Cousins (Holland, Mich.) kinesiology (3.68)
John Deyo (Battle Creek, Mich.) agribusiness management (3.10)
Joel Foreman (Highland, Mich.) criminal justice (3.33)
Jeremy Gainer (Detroit, Mich.) hospitality business (3.13)
Travis Jackson (New Albany, Ohio) no-preference (3.19)
Nate Klatt (Clinton, Ohio) accounting (3.78)
Andrew Maxwell (Midland, Mich.) supply chain management (3.76)
Keith Nichol (Lowell, Mich.) supply chain management (3.28)
Ethan Ruhland (Lake Orion, Mich.) human biology (3.31)
Mike Sadler (Grand Rapids, Mich.) applied engineering sciences (4.0)
Brad Sonntag (Saginaw, Mich.) hospitality business (3.06)