A nation-leading five Huskers were named to the academic all-district 7 football team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday. Each of the five honorees advance to the national ballot, where they will be eligible for Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.
Senior Austin Cassidy, juniors Ben Cotton, Rex Burkhead and Sean Fisher and sophomore Spencer Long each earned a spot on the team. Huskers accounted for more than one quarter of the 24-player team, as no other school in the district had more than two honorees. The Huskers' five selections marked their highest total since nabbing six selections in 2004.
Nebraska not only led Division I with five honorees, but the Huskers were one of only five schools nationally with as many as four student-athletes named to an all-district team. Three of those five schools came from the Big Ten Conference, as Michigan State and Northwestern each produced four academic all-district selections.
Highlighting Nebraska's selections were Cassidy and Fisher. Cassidy made the squad for the second straight season, as last year he earned first-team academic All-America honors. Fisher was one of only three players to make the all-district 7 team with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Fisher, Cotton, Burkhead and Long were each academic all-district selections for the first time in their careers. Cotton was the lone tight end chosen in district 7, while Burkhead was one of two running backs honored. Fisher was among three linebackers, Cassidy was one of four defensive backs and Long was one of five offensive linemen.
With five players advancing to the national academic All-America ballot, including one repeat selection, Nebraska has an excellent chance to add to its nation-leading total. The Huskers have produced a total of 103 academic All-Americans all-time, including 99 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Nebraska's football program has produced more CoSIDA Academic All-Americans than any other program in the country, while Nebraska leads all institutions in the nation with 291 selections across all sports.