Hamlin, Miller Receive Academic All-Star Honors For EWU - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hamlin, Miller Receive Academic All-Star Honors For EWU

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by EWU Athletics

Eastern Washington University football players Ronnie Hamlin and Ashton Miller are among the 43 winners selected on the 16th annual NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team announced Friday (Jan. 3).

Hamlin and Miller bring to 16 the total number of honors won by 15 different Eastern players since the award began in 1998 when Eagle running back Mike MacKenzie was on the inaugural team. Current EWU offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Best was selected in 1998 when he played center for the Eagles, and most recently, safety Jeff Minnerly was a repeat winner in 2011 and 2012.

A linebacker, Hamlin is a 2009 graduate of Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash., and has a 3.54 grade point average as a technology major. He earned All-America honors in 2013 after finishing with 140 tackles to rank as the fourth-most in Eastern history.

Miller is a center, and is a 2009 graduate of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash., Miller is currently pursuing his MBA after graduating magna cum laude with a degree in business administration with a 3.74 grade point average (3.63 graduate GPA currently). He earned All-America recognition on four different teams in 2013 as he helped the Eastern offense set a variety of school records and rank in the top four in FCS in total offense (533.5 per game) and passing offense (349.8).

The Eagles finished the 2013 season 12-3 and advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs for the third time in the past four years. Hamlin and Miller helped lead EWU to its first-ever perfect 8-0 finish in the Big Sky Conference as both players earned All-Big Sky honors.

Ronnie Hamlin, Linebacker, Senior

-All-American & Buck Buchanan Award Candidate (12th in the Voting)

-College Sports Madness Second Team All-America linebacker.

-Second team All-Big Sky Conference selection led the nation’s third-ranked team with 140 total tackles to rank fourth in school history.

-Picked off two passes with 77 return yards and one touchdown.

-Registered at least 10 tackles in seven games (16 in career).

-Currently third all-time at EWU with 361 career total tackles.

-Earned first team All-Big Sky and All-America honors in 2012.

-Will appeal to the NCAA in the offseason to receive a sixth year to replace two years wiped out because of injuries.

Ashton Miller, Center, Senior – All-American

-Received All-America recognition by four organizations – first team honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press and Beyond Sports Network; and second team accolades by College Sports Madness.

-First team All-Big Sky Conference center and one of four team co-captains.

-Started 30 of 33 career games for the Eagles.

-Helped Eastern set Big Sky and school records with 592 points, 83 touchdowns and 8,002 yards of offense in the 2013 season. As a team, EWU led FCS in passing efficiency (school record 182.6), and fourth in total offense (533.5 per game), fourth in passing (349.8), 41st in rushing (183.7) and seventh in scoring (39.5).

-He was a part of a senior class which won 42 games and three Big Sky Conference championships (2010, 2012, 2013) and 27 of 32 league games during his time in an Eagle uniform.

Eastern Players on NCAA Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Academic All-Star Team

2013 - Ronnie Hamlin, Linebacker

2013 - Ashton Miller, Center

2012 - Jeff Minnerly, Safety

2011 - Jeff Minnerly, Safety

2011 - Mike Jarrett, Kicker

2010 - J.C. Sherritt, Linebacker

2010 - Matt Martin, Tight End

2009 - Chris Thomas, Offensive Tackle

2009 - Jacob Kragt, Defensive End

2007 - Tom McAndrews, Tight End

2005 - Joey Cwik, Linebacker

2003 - Kyler Randall, Wide Receiver

2003 - Kurt Sigler, Offensive Tackle

2002 - Josh Blankenship, Quarterback

1999 - Aaron Best, Center

1998 - Mike MacKenzie, Running Back

More About the 16th annual NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team

Three conferences had six student-athletes named to the All-Star Team - the Missouri Valley Football Conference, Ohio Valley Conference and the Southern Conference. There were 90 total nominees.

“The FCS ADA is honored to present this prestigious award to our football student-athletes each year,” stated FCS ADA President Brian Hutchinson, director of athletics, Morehead State University. “Each year, these young men epitomize the definition of student-athlete, both in the classroom and on the field. Our Association is pleased to recognize their accomplishments annually.”

Football players from all Football Championship Subdivision institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. He must have reached his second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.

Additionally, from the Academic All-Star team, seven finalists were selected for the 13th Annual FCS ADA’s $5,000 Postgraduate Scholarships. Two student-athletes will receive postgraduate scholarships during the Association’s annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, being held at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla., June 9-12.

The finalists are Brett Biestek, Fordham University, DL, 3.78 GPA; Tanner Bleskin, Montana State University, WR, 3.85 GPA; Jordan Hanberry, Nicholls State University, DB, 4.00 GPA; Scott Hyland, Liberty University, LB, 3.94 GPA; Niccolo Mastromatteo, Coastal Carolina University, WR/PR, 3.94 GPA; Austin Pucylowski, Southern Illinois University, P, 4.00 GPA; and Michael Runger, Dartmouth College, LB, 3.77 GPA.

A special Review Committee of Football Championship Subdivision athletics directors was responsible for selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Brian Hutchinson, Morehead State (chair); Ken Beazer, Southern Utah; Charlie Cobb, Appalachian State; Ron Strollo, Youngstown State; and Jeff Tingey, Idaho State.

About the FCS ADA: Now in its 21st year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association’s mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 49th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

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