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. Name School Hometown Cl. GPA Major
QB Luke Anthony Abilene Christian Fort Worth, Texas So. 4.00 Financial Management
RB Dontrell Taylor Nicholls White Castle, La. So. 3.75 Petroleum Services – Safety Technology
RB Remus Bulmer Sam Houston State Missouri City, Texas Jr. 3.28 General Business
OL John Cook^# Central Arkansas Grenada, Miss. Jr. 3.78 Biology
OL Gilberto Garcia* Central Arkansas Morrilton, Ark. Gr. 3.43 M.B.A., Insurance and Risk Management
OL Chris Zirkle*^#2 Northwestern State League City, Texas Jr. 3.87 Business Administration
OL Brian Hernandez# Nicholls Baton Rouge, La. Gr. 3.75 Interdisciplinary Studies (Biology/Pre-Med)
OL Eric David Sam Houston State Richmond, Texas Jr. 3.54 Biochemistry
TE Mev Ajdin^ Houston Baptist Allen, Texas Sr. 3.79 Finance
WR Jamari Gilbert UIW Baytown, Texas Gr. 3.76 Business Administration
WR Cody Williams Stephen F. Austin Pearland, Texas So. 3.50 Biology
PK Eric Piccione Northwestern State League City, Texas Sr. 3.61 Business Administration
P Patrick Ponder^ Central Arkansas Bay St. Louis, Miss. Sr. 3.68 Anthropology
DL Andre Walker^ Houston Baptist Slidell, La. So. 3.52 Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
DL John Franklin3 Stephen F. Austin Greenville, Texas Sr. 3.20 Kinesiology
DL Jalen Bowers McNeese Shreveport, La. Sr. 3.20 Business Administration
DL Manasseh Miles Lamar Houston, Texas Sr. 3.05 Health
LB James Graves^ Central Arkansas Bassfield, Miss. Sr. 3.62 Computer Science
LB Chrishard Buhl^ Northwestern State Woodway, Texas Sr. 3.57 Psychology
DB Marlon Walls^&#3 Stephen F. Austin Pearland, Texas Sr. 4.00 Engineering Physics
DB Ryan Reed^2 Northwestern State St. Francisville, La. Jr. 3.59 Industrial Engineering Technology
DB Adrian Contreras Sam Houston State Georgetown, Texas Jr. 3.66 Accounting
DB Shyler Staton Lamar Missouri City, Texas So. 3.10 Criminal Justice
DB Trent Perriman Stephen F. Austin Miami, Fla. Sr. 3.27 Criminal 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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