Among the plethora of college football all-star teams for “all-this” and “all-that,” is one of the least known but perhaps most meaningful for the true student athletes. It is the Academic All-Star combine of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
The list of 2015 honorees, just named, includes Yale’s senior quarterback, Morgan Roberts, one of three Ivy Leaguers getting the recognition..
Roberts is a native of Charlotte, N.C., who transferred to Yale after a freshman year at Clemson. He struggled in his first season, having to step down from the high pressure of the Atlantic Coast Conference to the unique atmosphere of the Ivy League.
Roberts might have been in CFP title game
Ironically, if he had stayed with the Tigers, he might have played in the College Football Playoff (CFP) national title game last night (Jan. 11th), in which his former team barely lost to Alabama.
Instead he went on to compile Yale career records for passing yards, completion percentage and total offense. But that’s only part of his accomplishments.
GPA of 3.56 and high in Yale football rankings
In the classrooms of one of the most challenging educational institutions in the world, he holds a 3.56 Grade Point Average (GPA) in political science. That, combined with his performances on the football field, were enough to get him the nod from the FCS.
The Charlotte, N.C., native helped the Bulldogs to several comeback victories over the last two seasons. He finished with 6,182 passing yards and 61.0% completions (530 in 868 attempts). His 37 touchdowns passes are second on the Yale career list, as are his total passing gains and completion percentage.
“The FCS ADA is proud to recognize its Academic All-Star Team for the 18th consecutive year,” stated the organization’s President Jeff Tingey, director of athletics at Idaho State University. “It is extremely admirable what our football student-athletes continue to accomplish in the classroom and on the field, and we are excited to recognize them for their efforts.”
How to get there
Football players from all Football Championship Subdivision institutions are eligible for the award. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum GPA 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. He must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at his designated position.
Past honors for Roberts
Roberts was a 2014 second-team All-Ivy League pick, after earning Ivy Offensive Player of Week honors three times and the New England Gold Helmet Award twice. As a junior, he broke Yale season records for completion percentage (66.8), number of completions (248) and total passing yards (3,220).
The 6-3, 200 pound Bulldog tied the college TD record as a junior with 22, while leading the Ivy League in almost every passing category. He also hit a career-high 405 passing yards against Princeton and had a 26-for-29 (89.6%) day with 346 yards and four TDs against Penn.
He appeared to be a true Yalie, when I spotted him among a group of about 25 members of the football team who cheered loudly and remained standing throughout during Yale’s basketball victory over Vermont last month.
In addition to Roberts, the two others from the Ivy League named to this FCS Acadmmic All-Star team are Brian Strachan, wide receiver from Brown, and Dartmouth’s outside linebacker, Jacob Flores.