WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.-
Led by three-time selection Andrew Sutton
(Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), a program record four Monmouth University football players were named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District II Team.
Sutton, a fifth year senior safety, was joined by senior kicker Eric Spillane (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck), junior offensive guard Reece Johnston (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) and sophomore defensive back Joe Johnson (Manchester, N.J./Manchester).
“I am very proud of these players for what they have achieved,” said Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “Academic excellence is part of the foundation of our program, and we stress competing to be your best in everything that we do. The recognition that they have received for the performance both academically and athletically is hard earned, and well deserved. “
Sutton becomes just the third Hawk to be selected three times in his career, joining Andrew Musick (2007-09) and Mike McLelland (2004-06). The three-year starter at safety has 22 tackles and a pass breakup in 2013. Currently a graduate student, Sutton completed his business management degree with a 3.65 grade point average.
Spillane, who owns every placekicking record in Monmouth history, earns a spot on the All-District Team for the second consecutive career. Monmouth’s scoring leader in 2013 is a criminal justice major who currently owns a 3.86 GPA. Spillane has knocked through 10 of 13 field goals, including three from 46 yards. He is second all-time in scoring at Monmouth with 261 points. Spillane is second currently among active field goal kickers with 63 attempts, third with 47 made field goals and is eighth among all active players in scoring.
Johnson, a sophomore cornerback, has started all 10 games for the Hawks this season. He is fifth on the team with 39 tackles while compiling two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. The Monmouth defense is ranked fourth in the country in third-down defense, allowing opponent first downs just 28% of the time. Johnson currently has a 3.73 in health studies.
Johnston is part of an offensive line that has cleared the way for a pair of backs that are within 1,000 yards each. The redshirt junior is in his first season as a starter and currently owns a 3.83 grade point average in criminal justice. Monmouth is currently 11th in the country in time of possession and has had a 100-yard rusher in seven of 10 games this season. At one point, junior backs K.B. Asante and Julian Hayes combined for four consecutive 100-yard games each. With two games to play, the duo is within a 164 yards of becoming the first tandem in MU history to reach 1,000 yards rushing.
It marks the 14th consecutive season that Monmouth has had a player named on the All-District II First Team and the first time that the Hawks have had four players honored on the first team. FBS and FCS schools from New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky comprise District II. The three players will now join the honorees from other districts for Academic All-America consideration.
Monmouth, 5-5 thus far this season, travels to Smithfield, Rhode Island this weekend when they travel to Bryant University for a 12 p.m. game.