Four Lord Jeffs Named to ESPN Academic All-District Team

AMHERST, MA – Amherst College football standouts Nick Edwards ’11 (Greenwich, CT), Jeff Katz ’11 (Cheshire, CT), Andrew Reed ’12 (Riverside, CT) and Ian Mahoney ’12 (Wellesley, MA) have been named to the ESPN Academic All-District First Team (College Division), the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced today.

Nick Edwards '11
Jeff Katz '11
Ian Mahoney '12
Andrew Reed '12

Student-athletes must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30 and have significant athletic credentials in order to be nominated for an Academic All-District Team. Twenty-six football players were named to the First Team for District 1, with Amherst College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute leading all schools with four selections apiece.

Representing Amherst’s defense are Edwards and Katz, who have helped the Lord Jeffs rank first in the NESCAC in fewest touchdown passes allowed (6), second in sacks (15), and third in rushing defense (87.5 ypg), scoring defense (16.7 ppg), pass efficiency defense (111.5) and red zone defense (60 percent). Amherst has held four of its opponents to 10 points or fewer, opening the season with a shutout against Bates.

Edwards majors in economics with a 3.54 GPA, and this season has totaled 26 tackles (15 solo), three pass breakups and one forced fumble. A two-year starter at cornerback, Edwards broke out as a junior by recording 24 tackles and four interceptions, including a pair of picks in the team’s 26-21 win at Williams. Edwards played a major role in the Jeffs leading the NESCAC in scoring defense (10.4 ppg), turnover margin (+9) and pass efficiency defense (95.9) last year.

A two-year starting outside linebacker, Katz majors in political science and has a 3.55 cumulative GPA between Amherst and Lafayette. After earning All-NESCAC Second Team honors in his first year with the team for finishing among the conference leaders in sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (12.0), Katz is in the midst of another outstanding season. Through six games he leads the team in forced fumbles (2) and ranks second in sacks (3.5), TFL (7.0) and fumble recoveries, with his 42 tackles only three behind the leader.

Representing the offense are Mahoney and Reed, who are big reasons Amherst leads the NESCAC in scoring (42.8 ppg), red zone offense (85.7 percent) and fewest sacks allowed (2),  also ranking second in total offense (458.8 ypg) and third in rushing yards per game (209.3). This year’s team is the first in program history to open a season with six consecutive 30-point games, as the Jeffs are challenging the school record for scoring average (34.8, 1957).

Mahoney boasts a 3.40 cumulative GPA as a chemistry major and two-year starter at right tackle. He is part of a line that has allowed Amherst to run for at least 133 yards in each game this season, including a 226-yard performance against Bates and a remarkable 367-yard showing against Tufts. The Jeffs lead the NESCAC in rushing touchdowns (17) and rank second in yards per carry (5.1) thanks in large part to a line that has allowed its quarterback to be sacked only twice in six games. Amherst is on pace to allow the fewest sacks in the conference for a third consecutive year, as the 2008 Jeffs surrendered five and last year’s team gave up eight.

Rounding out the group is Reed, a double major in classics and economics with a 3.77 GPA. Amherst features an outstanding group of receivers this year, but Reed has been the prime target on big plays. Despite ranking fifth on Amherst in receptions (14), he leads the group in yards per game (53.2), yards per catch (22.8), touchdowns (3) and long reception (55) with 319 total yards. Through the first four weeks of the season, three of his seven catches went for touchdowns. Last year he caught 12 balls for 287 yards (23.9 ypc) and three scores, including a 70-yard connection that ignited a 23-0 scoring run at Williams.

Edwards, Katz, Mahoney and Reed join some of the best and brightest students in the region, as 13 of the 26 All-District selections in District 1 boast a cumulative GPA of at least 3.60. Joining the Lord Jeffs from the NESCAC are Middlebury’s David Reed ’11 (TE) and Anthony Kuchan ’11 (K), Wesleyan’s Nick Seara ’11 (OL) and Trinity’s Herman Brito ’12 (DL).

All ESPN Academic First Team selections across the eight districts are now eligible for the Academic All-America Team, which will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 23. Only three Amherst football players have ever earned an Academic All-America selection from CoSIDA. A complete list of this year’s Academic All-District honorees can be found on the CoSIDA website.