. 17th Annual Divison I FCS ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Chosen :: NACDA :: Official Athletic Site
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17th Annual Divison I FCS ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year Chosen

March 7, 2018

CLEVELAND - Max Michaels, a nickelback from the University of San Diego, and Marlon Walls, a safety from Stephen F. Austin State University, have been chosen as the recipients of the 17th  Division I FCS ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

Each will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. The duo was selected from a group of nine finalists. They will receive their awards during the Association's annual Awards Luncheon, held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C., June 28-30.

“I have had the pleasure of serving on the selection committee to choose the annual FCS ADA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients for the past four years,” stated FCS ADA President Thorr Bjorn, director of athletics at University of Rhode Island. “Every year I continue to be amazed by the incredible young men playing FCS football and excelling not only on the field but in the classroom. The selection process is so difficult because of the incredible accomplishments by all the nominees. I would like to congratulate both Marlon and Max for being chosen as the best of the best and earning this year’s postgraduate scholarship.”

photo courtesy of Stephen F. AustinMichaels, an accountancy major who carried a 3.95 GPA, started all 12 games at nickelback and helped San Diego achieve a 10-2 overall record. Michaels was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and was the 2017 Pioneer Football League (PFL) Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He was a key member of the San Diego team that won four straight PFL titles, advanced to the FCS Playoffs three times, and won 21 consecutive PFL games. He plans to take the CPA and return to school to get a master’s degree in accounting or tax.

“It is an honor to be recognized amongst the best FCS scholar-athletes,” stated Michaels. “This award represents how football has forever shaped the person I have become. The scholarship will support me in pursuing the academic excellence and skills to become a C.P.A and a leader in the business community.”

Walls maintained a 4.00 GPA his entire collegiate career, majoring in engineering physics with a mathematics minor photo courtesy of Stephen F. Austin and was recognized as a FCS ADA Academic All-Star in 2016. He played in all 11 games as a senior, making 10 starts. He was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team for the third consecutive year and became a member of the elite National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete class. He plans to work in the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory before enrolling in engineering graduate school this fall.

"First of all, it's a great honor to have received recognition, after-the-fact, for my undergraduate work both on and off the field,” said Walls. “With this scholarship, I will be able to focus all of my time into my research and classes without the potential of a financial burden along the way. In doing so, I will be able to gain an advantage early on within my research group and concentrate on grasping the material in my graduate level courses. In all, I'll be better equipped to succeed as a grad student and, more importantly, in my profession."

There were a total of 49 FCS players selected to the Academic All-Star Team in January. Nominees were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. They must have reached their second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. They must also have participated in 50 percent of the games played at their designated position.

A special Review Committee of Football Championship Subdivision athletics directors were tasked with selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Thorr Bjorn, Rhode Island (chair); Bruce McCutcheon, Lafayette; Bill Smith, Bryant; and Nathan Pine, Holy Cross.

About the FCS ADA: Now in its 24th year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 5 3rd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.