November 06, 2010
University Park, Pa. — Three members of the Penn State football team have been selected to the ESPN Academic All-District Football Team. The Nittany Lions’ total is tied for second-highest among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.
The group is led by senior guard Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville), a two-time ESPN Academic All-American. Senior linebacker Chris Colasanti (Leonard, Mich.) and redshirt sophomore defensive end Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) also were selected Academic All-District by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
All three football student-athletes will be eligible for consideration for the ESPN Academic All-America Team. Wisniewski has an opportunity to become the first Penn State football student-athlete to earn Academic All-America accolades three times, having earned first team honors in 2009 and second team honors in 2008. Last year, Wisniewski joined linebacker Josh Hull and kick snapper Andrew Pitz as first team Academic All-Americans.
Penn State is tied for second among FBS schools with its trio of 2010 ESPN Academic All-District selections. Boise State led all FBS schools with five. Davidson and Dayton also had four honorees within the University Division.
Penn State, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern and Purdue all had three Academic All-District choices to lead Big Ten Conference institutions.
A 2009 first team All-Big Ten selection, Wisniewski returned to guard this season after starting all 13 games at center in 2009. A three-year starter, he is enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College, has a 3.91 grade point average in secondary education and is on schedule to graduate in December.
The former Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS standout has already earned three athletic/academic/community service honors this fall:
– National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete ($18,000 post-graduate scholarship)
– Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
– Among 10 finalists for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for college football
Colasanti has started all eight games at middle linebacker this season. He leads Penn State and is No. 2 in the Big Ten with 72 tackles and has a team-high 6.0 TFL. The former Brother Rice HS star made a career-high 18 stops (10 solo) vs. Illinois on Oct. 9. Colasanti owns a 3.61 GPA in kinesiology/pre-medicine.
Massaro is in his first season as a starter at defensive end. He has 21 tackles and is tied for second on the team with 5.5 TFL. The former Marple Newtown HS standout also has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Massaro owns a 3.83 GPA in finance.
The ESPN Academic All-District and All-America Teams are selected by the 2,000 members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a scale of 4.00.
The Penn State football team has had a least one first team ESPN Academic All-American in each of the past six seasons. Penn State has had eight Academic All-Americans the past two years, with seven first team selections. The Nittany Lions’ 12 Academic All-Americans over the past four years (10 first team selections) leads the nation.
During Coach Joe Paterno’s tenure, Penn State has had 44 Academic All-Americans, with 34 earning first team honors. The Nittany Lions’ all-time total of 46 Academic All-America football players ranks third among all FBS institutions and leads all Big Ten schools.
Penn State (5-3, 2-2) hosts Northwestern (6-2, 2-2) in a critical Big Ten contest on Saturday in Beaver Stadium. Paterno will have an opportunity to become the first major college coach (FBS) to reach 400 career victories in the clash with the Wildcats. The contest will kick at 3:30 p.m. and air on ABC (ESPN2 in outer markets), the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.
A limited number of tickets for Penn State’s home games with Northwestern and Michigan State (Nov. 27) are available at www.GoPSUsports.com or by calling 814-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m. Tickets also are available at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket office