Three Husker seniors were named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I football team on Thursday, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Offensive guard Spencer Long was a first-team selection, while tight end Jake Long and fullback C.J. Zimmererwere named to the second team.
The three academic All-America selections continues Nebraska’s long tradition of academic honors. Nebraska was the only school with three players on the Division I team, with six schools having two honorees each. This marks the third straight year Nebraska has had multiple Academic All-Americans in football, boasting three in 2011 and two in 2012.
In Bo Pelini’s six seasons as Nebraska head coach, the Huskers have had 11 first- or second-team academic All-America picks. The 11 academic All-Americans in the past six seasons is the second-most in the country in that time period, trailing only Penn State’s 14 honorees in the same period.
The three honorees also increase Nebraska’s nation-leading totals of academic All-Americans in football and across all sports. Spencer Long’s first-team selection gives Nebraska 69 CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America picks, and the additional second-team honorees give the Huskers 107 all-time first- or second-team academic All-Americans in football. Notre Dame is second in the nation with 58 football academic All-Americans.
Across all sports, Nebraska increased its nation-leading total to 310 academic All-Americans. Notre Dame is second in all sports with 234 academic All-Americans.
Spencer Long carries a 3.79 grade-point average in biological sciences and plans to pursue medical school after graduation. Long is a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, and has been a standout on the field as well. Long was a second-team All-American in 2012, and a first-team All-Big Ten choice, before his senior season was cut short by a knee injury.
Long is the first Nebraska offensive lineman to earn academic All-America honors since Kurt Mann was a first-team choice in 2005.
Jake Long owns a 3.86 grade-point average in biological sciences and, like his brother, also plans on a medical career following graduation. Jake Long is a two-time first-team academic all-district pick. On the field, Long has been a key contributor at tight end each of the past three seasons and was the veteran of that group this season.
Spencer and Jake Long join an elite group of brothers at Nebraska to be named academic All-Americans. The Longs join Grant (1996, 1997) and Tracey Wistrom (2001) and Rob (1992, 1993, 1994) and Jon Zatechka (1997) as the only sets of brothers in school history to both earn academic All-America honors.
Zimmerer gives the Huskers three Omaha area natives on the academic All-America team. A criminology and criminal justice major, Zimmerer completed his undergraduate work in December of 2012 with a 3.82 grade-point average. On the field, Zimmerer has been a regular contributor at fullback for the past three seasons. His selection marks the third straight year Nebraska has had an academic All-America running back, following Rex Burkhead, who was a first-team selection in both 2011 and 2012.