Nine Hokies Make All-BIG EAST Academic Football Team
The Beat
February 11, 2002

Providence, R.I. - Syracuse's Kyle Johnson heads a record group of 73 student-athletes named to the 2001 BIG EAST All-Academic Football Team, the league announced. The SU fullback is the winner of the BIG EAST/Aéropostale Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. He receives a $2,000 scholarship which may be applied to graduate or professional studies.

A native of Woodbridge, N.J., Johnson excelled in all aspects at Syracuse. The first two-time team captain at SU since 1980-81 (Joe Morris), Johnson started all 13 games in 2001 after being granted a sixth year of eligibility due to injury. The senior was third on the team in rushing with 223 yards and three touchdowns. He had his top game this year, with a career-high 96 yards on the ground versus Rutgers. He played in 37 career games and is regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the country, including being lauded as the nation's best at the position by The Sporting News prior to the 2000 season.

In the classroom and off the field, Johnson is even more impressive. He has graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree Television, Radio & Film and is currently working on his Master's of Business Administration. He is a 10-time member of SU's Athletic Director's honor roll and is one of three Orangemen (Mark Baniewicz, Patrick Woodcock) in school history to be chosen to the BIG EAST academic squad four times. Johnson was President of the Syracuse Student-Athlete Council from 1998-2000. He was coordinator of "JAM Session", a charity basketball game between SU football players and local charitable organizations. Johnson also serves as host of a local radio show and has played parts in six theatrical productions.

The BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Awards were established to recognize student-athletes who have achieved success in the classroom and on the field. The BIG EAST Male, Female and Men's and Women's Basketball Scholar-Athletes will be announced prior to and in conjunction with the BIG EAST Men's & Women's Basketball Championships on March 1 and 5. Aéropostale is a popular clothing and accessories retailer that has over 275 stores in 37 states throughout the United States. Named after the Compagnie Generale Aéropostale, the pioneer French airmail company, the merchandise continues to embody the spirit and adventure of its name. The company also operates a web site at www.aeropostale.com.

Thirty-seven repeat selections were included on the BIG EAST All-Academic Football Team. Seven players - Ryan Utzler of Boston College , Joaquin Gonzalez of Miami, Pittsburgh's Mark Ponko, Johnson, André Davis of Virginia Tech and West Virginia's Seth Abraham and Jeremy Knapp - were honored for the fourth time. Their honors increased to 19 the total of four-time winners in BIG EAST history. It is also the sixth straight season the league has set a new high for number of All-Academic Team members.

"These players are the top student-athletes BIG EAST football has to offer," Commissioner Michael Tranghese said. "We are very proud to honor them with these selections."

Ponko and Davis were the first from their respective schools to be four-time honorees. Eight players were named for the third time in their careers, while 22 were earned recognition for the second time. Eight All-BIG EAST choices made the squad. Miami's Ken Dorsey, Joaquin Gonzalez and Jonathan Vilma and Virginia Tech's André Davis were first team picks in the fall, while Bryan Knight of Pittsburgh, P.J. Alexander of Syracuse and West Virginia's Kyle Kayden and Brenden Rauh were All-BIG EAST Second Team. Boston College, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia tied for the most honorees with 10. The Mountaineers have the most all-time selections with 81 in 11 seasons of BIG EAST play.

The All-Academic Team recognizes letterwinners who have posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better. Student-athletes who have completed a minimum of two semesters of academic work are eligible. It is the 11th consecutive season the BIG EAST has honored its student-athletes with an academic team.

2001 BIG EAST ALL-ACADEMIC FOOTBALL TEAM
NameClassPos.MajorHometown
Virginia Tech
André DavisSeniorWRResidential Property Mgt.Niskayuna, N.Y.
Steve DeMasiSeniorCFinanceVirginia Beach, Va.
Jarrett FergusonSeniorFBPhysical EducationGoodview, Va.
Billy HardeeJuniorROVScience of Food, Nutrition and ExerciseWinter Haven, Fla.
Ken KeisterJuniorDSPhysical EducationRadford, Va.
Chris KrebsSeniorROVMgmt Science & Info TechBurke, Va.
Tim SelmonJuniorOTPhysical EducationTrenton, N.J.
Chris ShreveSophomoreWRHuman Nutrition, Food and ExerciseMouth of Wilson, Va.
Dan WilkinsonSeniorDTUrban & Reg. Planning (Gr.)West Palm Beach, Fla.
Boston College
Doug BessetteJuniorSAccountingRaynham, Mass.
Francois BrochuFreshmanLSFinanceSt. Augustin, Quebec
Mike CallahanSeniorOGBusiness AdministrationChestnut Hill, Mass.
Ken DudnickSophomorePKSecondary Education & MathLinwood, N.J.
John RichardsonSeniorOGCounselingCincinnati, Ohio
Andy RomanowskySeniorLBHistoryLowell, Mass.
Sandro SciortinoSophomorePKCommunicationsMarkham, Ontario
Greg ToalSophomoreFBEnglishWyckoff, N.J.
Shaun ToofJuniorWREconomics & Commun.Millis, Mass.
Ryan UtzlerSeniorFBBusiness AdministrationEaston, Conn.
Miami
Ken DorseyJuniorQBBusiness ManagementOrinda, Calif.
Alejandro GarciaRedshirt Fr.OLInformation TechnologyMiami, Fla.
Joaquin GonzalezGrad. StudentOTBusiness AdministrationMiami, Fla.
Brad KunzRedshirt Fr.OLUndeclaredCarlyle, Ill.
Joel RodriguezRedshirt Fr.CNewspaper JournalismMiami Lakes, Fla.
James SikoraSophomoreOLCivil EngineeringMarathon, Fla.
Jonathan VilmaSophomoreLBFinance CoralGables, Fla.
Matt WaltersJuniorDTMechanical EngineeringMelbourne, Fla.
Robert WilliamsGrad. StudentTEBusiness AdministrationDallas, Texas
James WilsonJuniorOTBiomedical EngineeringDavie, Florida
Pittsburgh
Brian BeineckeJuniorLBMovement ScienceYoungstown, Ohio
Vince CrochunisFreshmanDLPolitical ScienceSchuylkill Haven, Pa.
Brian GuzekJuniorDLMechanical EngineeringLibrary, Pa.
Bryan KnightSeniorDLEducationBuffalo, N.Y.
Nick LotzSeniorPKFinanceFindley, Ohio
Mark PonkoSeniorDBFinance & MarketingDelmont, Pa.
Chad ReedJuniorCCommunicationsLatrobe, Pa.
Dan StephensFreshmanDLPre-LawWheeling, W. Va.
Gary UrschlerJuniorDBAccounting & FinancePittsburgh, Pa.
Kris WilsonSophomoreTEEconomicsLancaster, Pa.
Rutgers
Jereme BakerSophomoreDBUndeclaredJacksonville, Fla.
Jacob GarnerSophomoreOLUndeclaredFort Drum, N.Y.
Nate JonesSophomoreDBPre-BusinessScotch Plains, N.J.
Brandon HawJuniorDBGeographyCheverly, Md.
Raymond PilchSophomoreFBUndeclaredPiscataway, N.J.
Martin PyszczymukaJuniorOLGeographySparta, N.J.
Ronald SimoneJuniorDEAdministration of JusticeKearney, N.J.
Seth StantonSeniorFBLabor StudiesWalton, N.Y.
Syracuse
Patrick AlexanderSeniorOLInformation Studies & Tech.Tallahassee, Fla.
Lenny CusumanoSophomoreTEPhysical EducationLittle Falls, N.J.
Jeremie FrazierSeniorTEBiologyHaviland, Kan.
Kyle JohnsonGrad. StudentRBBusiness AdministrationWoodbrigde, N.J.
Benjamin KozikSeniorPKBroadcast JournalismAdams, Mass.
Nicholas RomeoSophomoreOLMechanical EngineeringTarpon Springs, Fla.
Richard ScanlonSophomoreLBHealth & Excercise ScienceOradell, N.J.
Matthew TarulloRedshirt Fr.OLPolitical ScienceAlbany, N.Y.
Joshua ThomasSophomoreDEPsychologyOrchard Park, N.Y.
Rodney WellsSeniorLBCounselor EducationOrlando, Fla.
Temple
Rasheed AllenSeniorOGHuman Resource Admin.Erie, Pa.
Dan BosnicFreshmanTEUndeclaredUniontown, Pa.
Kevin CzabanSeniorLSKinesiologyPhiladelphia, Pa.
Jared DavisJuniorPKBroadcasting, Telecomm. & Mass MediaSaunderstown, R.I.
Jason McKieSeniorFBBroadcasting, Telecomm. & Mass MediaNavarre, Fla.
Devin ScottSeniorQBSport & Recreation Mgmt.Spartanburg, S.C.
West Virginia
Seth AbrahamSeniorWRIndustrial Labor RelationsTriadelphia, W. Va.
Zack DillowJuniorCHistorySmithfield, Pa.
Todd JamesSophomoreK/PAccountingBentleyville, Pa.
Kyle KaydenSeniorLBBusiness ManagementFredmont, Ohio
Brian KingSophomoreDBBusinessDamascus, Md.
Jeremy KnappSeniorTECommunications/SociologyRidgeview, W. Va.
Brad KnellSeniorOGSpecial EducationPoca, W. Va.
A.J. NastasiJuniorWRSport ManagementWoodbury, Pa.
Lance NimmoJuniorOTFinanceNew Castle, Pa.
Brenden RauhSeniorPKPsychology/CounselingDublin, Ohio