UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University football program scored a host of academic awards on Thursday, with five student-athletes earning CoSIDA Academic All-District II First-Team honors.
Taylor claimed five of the 22 available spots on the College Division District II Team, which consisted of outstanding student-athletes at NAIA institutions from the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee.
Brandon Haan, Caleb Nicley, Blake Wheeler, Daniel Boy and Hans Lundberg gave the Trojans the highest total among all NAIA District II programs, edging the four-man hauls by Lindsey Wilson and Saint Francis (IN) for the most honors.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District award is designed to recognize student-athletes for outstanding achievements in the classroom, as well as on the field of play. In order to be eligible for the honor, an athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have reached sophomore status academically and have participated in over half of the team's competitions as a key contributor during the current season.
Student-athletes are nominated for the award by their sports information director and voted on by CoSIDA members from around the nation.
Haan earned his third Academic All-District award with a 3.74 GPA in management and marketing. The senior punter from Grand Rapids, Michigan was voted an Academic All-American in 2014 and currently ranks No. 21 in the NAIA with 39.0 yards per punt.
Nicley received Academic All-District recognition for the first time in his career with a 3.99 grade-point average in exercise science. The senior wideout from Lebanon, Indiana is on track for career-bests in total receiving yards and yards per game.
Wheeler was selected for his first Academic All-District award with a cumulative GPA of 3.41 in engineering. The senior linebacker out of Springboro, Ohio currently rates among TU's best with 35 total tackles through nine games.
Boy is a first-time recipient of the Academic All-District honor with a 3.96 grade-point average in exercise science. The sophomore wide receiver out of Bellefontaine, Ohio has emerged as TU's top threat with a team-leading 37 catches for 420 yards and 46.7 yards per game this season.
Lundberg claimed his third Academic All-District distinction with a 3.93 grade-point average in exercise science after earning First-Team Academic All-America honors in the previous two seasons. The senior tight end from Houston, Minnesota has caught a team-leading five touchdowns this season and boasts 16 touchdowns over his four-year career.
The Taylor football program has now claimed 20 Academic All-District honors over the past three seasons, while the five awards this fall boost Taylor University's 2016-2017 total to 12.
Haan, Nicley, Wheeler, Boy and Lundberg will now be placed on the national ballot for the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team, which will be announced on November 28.