by Chuck Pool (cpool@edu) -
Four members of the Rice defensive unit were named on Thursday to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District® Football Team. Members of the team were selected in a vote by the membership of CoSIDA.
The four include a pair of graduate students (linebacker DJ Green and safety Cole Thomas) and a pair of juniors (cornerback Jorian Clark and defensive end Parker Hanusa) and makes up the largest group of honorees for the Owls since 2008 when Travis Bradshaw, David Berken, James Casey and Andrew Sendejo earned similar honors.
First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, with first- and second-team Academic All-America honorees to be announced in December.
In his first year as a starter after three seasons as a special teams standout, Green is second on the Owls with 42 tackles this season, including a pair of eight-tackle efforts. He graduated last May after posting a 3.94 GPA as a Sport Management major. He was the first Rice football player to earn four Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic medals after maintaining a GPA of 3.75 or better in each of his four years as an undergraduate. He is currently enrolled in Rice’s Masters of Accounting program.
Thomas has made five starts this year while battling injuries. He has been credited with 13 tackles this season, broken up three passes and picked off his first career pass against Army. He graduated in May with a 3.68 GPA while majoring in Economics. He is also currently enrolled in Rice’s Masters of Accounting program.
Clark has been credited with a career-high 18 tackles this year, including a pair for losses totaling 21 yards. He carries a 3.35 GPA while majoring in Kinesiology & Sport Management.
Hanusa has posted a career-best 12 tackles, including 1.5 for loss and one sack while playing in each of the first ten games of the year. He carries a 3.58 GPA while majoring in Economics.
The Academic All-District® teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and College Division. The College Division includes all NAIA, Canadian, two-year schools, and other affiliations.