In our last issue, we reported on seven football teammates who are NWU’s most recent Capital One Academic All-Americans. Their names bear repeating: Steven Anderson, Garek Bebee, Kelby Vandenberg and Russell Walton were NWU’s four first team selections. Second team selections included Matt Edwards, Cody Eiler and Brett Kaczor. No football team at any level has ever produced this many Academic All-Americans in one year.
Nebraska Wesleyan has long topped all NAIA schools in total Academic All-America awards. That total now stands at 119, which ranks fourth among NCAA Division III schools, and 10th among all divisions nationally.
To appreciate the significance of Nebraska Wesleyan’s performance, it helps to look at the entire single-spaced, 22-page list of institutions that have received Academic All-America Awards in the past.
The list of schools with a single Academic All-American in their history runs four pages. You must scroll through four more pages to reach the schools that have earned a half-dozen. To see the schools that have 10 awards to their name, you must jump to the middle of that list. Earning 58 awards—or roughly half of Nebraska Wesleyan’s total—puts you in proud company with the likes of Dartmouth College. A mere 20 schools at the top of that list’s coveted first page have cracked triple digits. And right there in the middle of them with 119 awards is our Nebraska Wesleyan University—a small but powerful competitor in the world of scholar-athletes.