Dec. 6, 2012
A pair of Conference USA football players have been named to the Capital One Academic All-America team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). East Carolina junior DL Matt Milner and UCF senior DB Lyle Dankenbring were each named second team Academic All-Americans.
Milner, who became the first Academic All-America selection in the history of the Pirate football program a year ago, is the seventh multiple honoree in school history and the first since Geoff Handsfield (swimming) took home second-team honors in 2007-08. Milner picked up First-Team Capital One Academic All-District 3 and Conference USA All-Academic Team accolades earlier this fall. The Raleigh, N.C. native is a three-time C-USA Commissioner Academic Medal and C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient. He was the football program's Jerry T. Brooks Academic Achievement Award winner in both the 2010 and 2011 season and is a six-time ECU Chancellor's List honoree.
On the field, Milner is a two-year letterwinner who has played in 11 games during the 2012 campaign making his lone start against Navy, where he recorded a season-high three tackles. He has booked eight tackles (two solo) this year, including a half sack (four yards) against Memphis. In his career, Milner has totaled 92 stops with 30 solo knockdowns. He has collected 11.5 TFLs and 4.0 sacks in addition to seven quarterback hurries, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups.
Milner and the Pirates (8-4) will face Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, December 22 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Dankenbring received his bachelor's degree in political science in 2011, and has registered four straight 4.0 semesters while working on his master's degree in social science education. On the field, he entered the 2012 campaign with 44 career tackles and one interception. This year, though, he has 45 tackles overall and two interceptions. Against UAB, Dankenbring ran back an interception 78 yards for a touchdown, marking the Knights' fifth-longest interception return in school history.
Dankenbring and the Knights (9-4) will get back to work after finals as they prepare for the 2012 Beef `O' Brady's Bowl against Ball State (9-3) Friday, December 21, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 16,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.