Southland Conference announces 2017 Football All-Academic Team

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Stephen F. Austin’s Marlon Walls repeats as Student-Athlete of the Year

FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced the 2017 Football All-Academic Team on Tuesday, with defensive back Marlon Walls of Stephen F. Austin repeating as Student-Athlete of the Year. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

Central Arkansas, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin lead with four selections each while Sam Houston State collected a trio of selections. Houston Baptist, Lamar and Nicholls all earned a pair of honorees. Abilene Christian, UIW and McNeese each garnered one pick.

Marlon Walls was also voted to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star team and the CoSIDA Academic All-District list. He was named the CoSIDA Football Academic All-American of the Year – the first Lumberjack and third Southland athlete in any sport to ever do so.

Walls is now a three-time Southland All-Academic pick, three-time CoSIDA All-District honoree, and two-time selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team and ADA Academic All-Star list. This season also saw him finish as a finalist for the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award and the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy.

Three additional student-athletes are also returning all-academic selections, led by three-time honoree John Franklin of Stephen F. Austin. Northwestern State’s Chris Zirkle and Ryan Reed were both named all-academic for a second time.

Two student-athletes posted perfect 4.00 grade point averages – Walls and Abilene Christian quarterback Luke Anthony.

Southland Conference All-Academic Teams are voted upon by a head coach, sports information director and academic/compliance staff member from each school. Student-Athletes of the Year are voted upon by an awards committee which consists of one administrator from each member school. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted.

To be eligible for all-academic distinction, an athlete must hold a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA through the semester prior to the sport’s championship, completed at least one full academic year at the nominating school prior to the current season, and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competitions during the most recently completed season.

Student-Athlete of the Year nominees must have hold at least a 3.20 GPA and have completed at least two years of athletic competition at the nominating school, including the current season.

2017 Southland Football Student-Athlete of the Year: Marlon Walls, Stephen F. Austin

2017 Southland Football All-Academic Team

Pos.NameSchoolHometownCl.GPAMajor
QBLuke AnthonyAbilene ChristianFort Worth, TexasSo.4.00Financial Management
RBDontrell TaylorNichollsWhite Castle, La.So.3.75Petroleum Services – Safety Technology
RBRemus BulmerSam Houston StateMissouri City, TexasJr.3.28General Business
OLJohn Cook^#Central ArkansasGrenada, Miss.Jr.3.78Biology
OLGilberto Garcia*Central ArkansasMorrilton, Ark.Gr.3.43M.B.A., Insurance and Risk Management
OLChris Zirkle*^#2Northwestern StateLeague City, TexasJr.3.87Business Administration
OLBrian Hernandez#NichollsBaton Rouge, La.Gr.3.75Interdisciplinary Studies (Biology/Pre-Med)
OLEric DavidSam Houston StateRichmond, TexasJr.3.54Biochemistry
TEMev Ajdin^Houston BaptistAllen, TexasSr.3.79Finance
WRJamari GilbertUIWBaytown, TexasGr.3.76Business Administration
WRCody WilliamsStephen F. AustinPearland, TexasSo.3.50Biology
PKEric PiccioneNorthwestern StateLeague City, TexasSr.3.61Business Administration
PPatrick Ponder^Central ArkansasBay St. Louis, Miss.Sr.3.68Anthropology
DLAndre Walker^Houston BaptistSlidell, La.So.3.52Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
DLJohn Franklin3Stephen F. AustinGreenville, TexasSr.3.20Kinesiology
DLJalen BowersMcNeeseShreveport, La.Sr.3.20Business Administration
DLManasseh MilesLamarHouston, TexasSr.3.05Health
LBJames Graves^Central ArkansasBassfield, Miss.Sr.3.62Computer Science
LBChrishard Buhl^Northwestern StateWoodway, TexasSr.3.57Psychology
DBMarlon Walls^&#3Stephen F. AustinPearland, TexasSr.4.00Engineering Physics
DBRyan Reed^2Northwestern StateSt. Francisville, La.Jr.3.59Industrial Engineering Technology
DBAdrian ContrerasSam Houston StateGeorgetown, TexasJr.3.66Accounting
DBShyler StatonLamarMissouri City, TexasSo.3.10Criminal Justice
DBTrent PerrimanStephen F. AustinMiami, Fla.Sr.3.27Criminal Justice

* Automatic selection; First Team All-Conference

^ Automatic selection; CoSIDA Academic All-District

& Automatic selection; CoSIDA Academic All-American

# Automatic selection; FCS ADA Academic All-Star

2 Two-time all-academic selection

3 Three-time all-academic selection

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