BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College senior Patrick O'Neal has been selected to the 2007 ESPN the Magazine CoSIDA Football Academic All-America College Division Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Thursday.
O'Neal (Lula, Ga.) landed on the Second Team. A First Team selection at the District IV level, O'Neal is just the third student-athlete in Union history to make the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team. He joins Ivan Mardones (Men's At-Large Third Team in 2006-07) and Kevin Smith (Baseball Second Team in 2006) on that exclusive list.
CoSIDA annually names Academic All-America teams in all sports. CoSIDA was established in 1957, and the Academic All-America program dates back to 1952.
To qualify for the Academic All-America Team, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.20, be a sophomore, junior or senior and player in at least 50 percent of the team's games at the position listed. Each sport is divided into two divisions, University and College. The University Division includes all NCAA Division I schools, while the College Division encompasses all NCAA II, III and NAIA institutions.
A special education major, O'Neal had a record-setting season for the Bulldogs. He twice tied the school mark for most tackles in a game with 20 against University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) on Sept. 1 and against Georgetown (Ky.) College on Nov. 10. O'Neal also broke the single-season record for tackles with 143 total stops, finishing his career with 390 - two shy of John Luttrell's mark of 392.
O'Neal also earned All-Mid-South Conference East First Team honors, marking the third year in a row he has received the award. He is also a two-time Academic All-Conference honoree as well as a 2006 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.
O'Neal earned Mid-South Conference and NAIA Defensive Player of the Week honors the week of Nov. 12 after his 20-tackle performance in the 28-21 upset win over host No. 17 Georgetown. The win over the Tigers was the first for Union since 1938, snapping a 23-game losing streak.
Union posted a 4-7 overall record and 2-3 MSC East mark in 2007.
To view the complete 2007 ESPN the Magazine CoSIDA Football Academic All-America University and College Division Teams, click here.