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15th Annual Division I FCS ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year Chosen

May 25, 2016

CLEVELAND - Derek Crittenden, a defensive lineman from the University of Montana, and Nick Faraci, an offensive lineman from Robert Morris University, have been chosen as the recipients of the 15th Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

Each will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. The duo was selected from a group of 10 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 Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, June 9-17.

“For the past 15 years, the FCS ADA has been fortunate to honor two of the best and brightest student-athletes with the postgraduate scholarship,” stated FCS ADA President Jeff Tingey, director of athletics at Idaho State University. “Derek and Nick are no exception. On behalf of the Association, I am proud to recognize these two young men with this award, and look forward to witnessing what they will continue to accomplish in the classroom and in their chosen field.”

photo courtesy of MontanaCrittenden, a chemistry major who owned a 4.00 GPA throughout his entire college career, played in all 11 games and finished the season with 53 tackles, including 14 solo stops. He also chipped in seven tackles for loss and a safety. During his career, Crittenden was a four-time Big Sky All-Conference Academic Team honoree, a two-time Capital One Academic All-District First Team selection, and earned Academic All-American recognition in 2014. He has performed over 100 hours of community service as a member of the Montana football team, volunteering his time at Grizzly Peak Retirement Community and Paxson Elementary School in Missoula, Mont. Crittenden competed in every game during his collegiate career after redshirting his freshman year. He plans to enroll in a master’s program for chemical engineering and/or pharmaceuticals this fall.

"It is a tremendous honor to stand among the highest achieving student-athletes in FCS football,” said Crittenden. “This scholarship is a representation of the incredible support that I’ve had from teammates, the knowledge that I’ve gained from professors, and the life lessons that I’ve had from my coaches."

Faraci carries a 3.94 GPA as nursing major photo courtesy of Robert Morriswith postgraduate plans to attend medical school. He started all 11 games in 2015 on the offensive line and combined with his teammates to not allow a sack in the final two games of the season, marking the first time in over five years that RMU yielded zero sacks in back-to-back games. Faraci was a three-time Academic All-District First Team selection and was also named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team a year ago. He was recognized as the Northeast Conference Football Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2014, in addition to earning Academic All-American distinction. During the course of his career, Faraci started all 44 games possible after redshirting as a true freshman, a mark that is tied for the most career starts in school history and stands alone among non-specialists.

“To receive this recognition is not only a huge honor, but the scholarship that accompanies it will also help me pay for my dream to attend medical school,” Faraci said. “The challenging endeavor of medical school is one that I anxiously await as my motivation and drive continues to grow, and I am thankful for this opportunity.”

There were a total of 52 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 was responsible for selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Jeff Tingey, Idaho State (chair); Thorr Bjorn, Rhode Island; Bruce McCutcheon, Lafayette; and Mark Wilson, Tennessee Tech.

About the FCS ADA: Now in its 23rd 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 51st year. For more information on NACDA and the 16 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.