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Three Fightin' Engineer Football Players Earn Academic All-American Honors

Three Fightin' Engineer Football Players Earn Academic All-American Honors

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology placed three football players on the 50-player CoSIDA Academic All-America Team, in results released Tuesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Senior punter Matt Murray, senior defensive back Alec Thompson and sophomore running back Garrett Wight were chosen as three of just 50 total Academic All-America selections from over 300 institutions that play NCAA Division III football nationwide. 

Rose-Hulman student-athletes have now combined for 132 Academic All-American awards, including 32 consecutive years with at least one Academic All-American. The 32-year streak ranks sixth among all NCAA institutions and first in NCAA Division III. The football program alone has earned 27 total Academic All-American accolades since 2002, including 16 Academic All-American awards in the last seven years under current head coach Jeff Sokol.

Rose-Hulman's combined Academic All-America total ranks No. 10 nationally among NCAA Division III institutions and in the top 30 among all United States colleges. 

Murray earned second-team Academic All-America honors last year and was also a first-team Academic All-District selection in 2016.  He earned first-team all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference honors earlier this week and was the 2016 HCAC Special Teams Player of the Year.

Murray ranks No. 7 in NCAA Division III punting this year with an average of 41.7 yards per kick.  He also made 9-11 from field goal range, highlighted by a 40-yard boot.  In the classroom, he entered the 2017 season with a 3.76 grade point average as a chemical engineering and mathematics double major. 

Thompson captured academic all-district honors last season and was a consensus first-team preseason All-American in 2017.   He earned first-team all-HCAC honors for the third time this fall with 53 tackles, three interceptions with two touchdown returns and two blocked kicks.

Thompson's career totals included 133 tackles, 11 interceptions and 27 pass breakups as a Fightin' Engineer.  In the classroom, he entered 2017 with a 3.72 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major.

Wight became the first 1,000-yard rusher and the first HCAC rushing champion at Rose-Hulman since 2011 with his performance this season.  He rushed for 1,036 yards and nine touchdowns, with one 200-yard game (Earlham) and five 100-yard rushing performances. 

Wight closed the season with four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances.  In the classroom, he carries a 3.96 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major.

Rose-Hulman finished 8-2 overall and were the HCAC runner-ups with a 7-1 record.  The Fightin' Engineers open the 2018 season with a trip to perennial power Mount Union on Sept. 1.