Nov. 30, 2006

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten topped all conferences with 11 members of the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football Team which was announced today, an increase of three over the conference’s eight honorees from last season.

The Big Ten’s 11 Academic All-Americans included a conference-record eight first-team selections, surpassing the previous high of seven first-team choices established in 1969. In addition, the Big Ten’s total of eight first-team honorees surpassed the total of seven first-team picks from all other Division I-A conferences, including two Big East selections and one choice each from the ACC, Big 12, MAC, Pac-10 and SEC.

Penn State’s Paul Posluszny was named the Academic All-America of the Year, joining Ohio State’s Craig Krenzel (2003) and Purdue’s Drew Brees (2000) as the third Big Ten player to be honored in the last seven years. Posluszny garners first-team Academic All-America recognition for the second straight season and boasts a 3.56 grade point average in finance.

Posluszny was joined by seven other Big Ten student-athletes on the Academic All-America first team, including Indiana’s Will Meyers, Iowa’s Mike Elgin, Mike Klinkenborg and Adam Shada, Ohio State’s Anthony Gonzalez and Stan White and Penn State’s Tim Shaw. The conference’s three second-team choices are Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis, Penn State’s Nolan McCready and Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas. Meyers, Elgin and Posluszny all earned first-team Academic All-America accolades for the second straight year after being honored in 2005.

To be eligible for Academic All-America honors, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.20 on a scale of 4.00 and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his current institution.