• 30 Iowa Conference titles
  • 20 NCAA Div. III playoff berths
  • No losing seasons since 1960
  • Fourth-winningest NCAA football team since 1975 (.796)

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Central second in nation for football academic honor

Football | May 2, 2012

PELLA—Central College landed 17 players in the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, the second highest total of any college or university in the U.S. The Dutch ranked third in the country a year ago.

The Dutch ranked third in the country a year ago.

The Hampshire Society, in its sixth year, recognizes senior football players who are starters or significant reserves and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher.

Union College (N.Y.) led the U.S. with 18 honorees, followed by Central with 16 and Brown University with 15.

It’s the fifth straight year that Central has matched or exceeded the number of selections from all other Iowa Conference schools. Central had four players honored in 2009 and 2010, and 11 players cited in 2008 and 2011.

Iowa schools with players recognized:
School                                                             No. of honorees

Central                                                            17

Wartburg                                                          7

Morningside                                                     6

Grinnell                                                           4

Northern Iowa                                                 3

Dubuque                                                          2

Drake                                                               1

Iowa                                                                1

Nationwide, 721 players from 232 schools in all divisions of play were chosen.

Those 16 players helped Central post a 31-10 mark over the past four seasons, winning the 2009 Iowa Conference titles and earning an NCAA Division III playoff berth. The Dutch were 7-3 last fall.

“This illustrates the kind of student-athlete we look for at Central,” McMartin said. “We look for the complete person, someone with great character who is a leader, an outstanding student and a talented football player. The young men on this list definitely exhibit those qualities and I couldn’t be happier about this honor. It speaks very highly of our program and our players.

“We talk about champions always being champions and that who we are on the football field needs to be reflected in who we are in the classroom and in our daily life.”

The Hampshire Honor Society is the latest component of the National Football Foundation’s efforts to promote combined athletic and academic success. The NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards program, launched in 1959, was the first to credit a player for academic success, football performance and community leadership.

Central’s honorees include:

Name (hometown/high school)                       Position           GPA    Major

Garret Albers (Keystone, Iowa/Benton HS) OL                   3.55     Social science

Holden Blythe (Williamsburg, Iowa)             DL                   3.66     Elementary


Matt Daniels (Olathe, Kan.)                           LB                   3.26     Social science/

                                                                                                             secondary education

Mike Furlong (Davenport, Iowa/                   WR/KR           3.29     Exercise science

            Assumption HS)

Patrick Kelley (Eagle Grove, Iowa)              LB                   3.37     Business


Jackson Leuschen (Story City, Iowa/            LB                   3.27     Psychology

            Roland-Story HS)

Cory Nikkel (Pella, Iowa/Pella Christian HS)           TE                   3.80     English/secondary


Jake Petersen (Gladbrook, Iowa/Gladbrook-           DB                   3.54     Accounting

            Reinbeck HS)

Nathan Rouse (Ankeny, Iowa)                       OL                   3.68     History/Spanish

Ryan Schmidt (Keswick, Iowa/Tri-County    DB                   3.35     Environmental

            HS)                                                                                            science

Colton Smith (Kearney, Mo.)                         OL                   3.85     Exercise science-

                                                                                                              athletic training

Jeremy Snead (Altoona, Iowa/Southeast Polk           WR                  3.61     Biology


Joey Toale (Spencer, Iowa)                           DB                   3.76     Chemistry

Brandon Wagner (Overland Park, Kan./      OL                   3.26     Business

            Blue Valley Northwest HS)                                                      management

Brett Wilkin (Pleasant Hill, Iowa/Southeast  WR                  3.74     Exercise science

            Polk HS)
Brady Wilson (Britt, Iowa/West Hancock HS) DL              3.45      Exercise science

David Young (West Burlington, Iowa)          TE                   3.37     Exercise science-

                                                                                                              strength and



Central College