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May 8, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four members of the four-time NCAA National Champion and four-time Big Ten Champion Penn State wrestling team have earned first team All-Academic honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The NWCA, the national governing body, honors the top wrestling student-athletes in the nation every year and once again, Penn State was among the national leaders.
All four Nittany Lions earning first team Academic All-America honors were also All-Americans on the mat with stand-out performances at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City this past March. NCAA Champion and Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) earned his fourth straight first team All-Academic honor from the NWCA. Taylor was the 2014 NCAA Champion and Most Outstanding Wrestler at nationals this year. Three-time All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.0 earned his second straight first team All-Academic nod after his third place finish at NCAAs this march (Megaludis was not eligible for All-Academic honors as a true freshman in 2012 as the NWCA stipulates you must be in your second year of competition to garner honors).
Two-time All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) earned his second straight All-Academic nod from the NWCA. Brown was 2013's Elite 89 Award Winner as well as a first team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2013. Senior All-American James English (York, Pa.) earned his first-ever first team All-Academic award from the NWCA, capping off a memorable senior year that saw him finish seventh at NCAAs this past March.
The Nittany Lions have an academic tradition as strong as their tradition on the mat. This is the second straight year that Penn State has placed among the top ten in cumulative GPA. Since 1991, Penn State has finished among the top 25 a total of 20 times. This season's crop of four All-Academic honorees brings Penn State's total to 43. A total of 17 wrestlers have earned the honor during head coach Cael Sanderson's five years as head coach, an average of 3.4 per year.
Penn State's total of four first teamers was fourth nationally and the team posted a 3.18 cumulate GPA, 10th nationally. The Nittany Lions were the only team that placed among the top 10 at NCAAs to also have a top ten GPA. The Nittany Lions are the only Big Ten team to finish among the top ten nationally and one of only two to place in the top 20 (Indiana was 11th with a 3.11 GPA). Harvard won the team GPA race with a 3.36 mark while Old Dominion was second at 3.32. Oklahoma, which placed 10th at NCAAs, was 11th overall with a 3.16 GPA.
Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.