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November 25, 2009

Tech's Taylor Askew voted Academic All-America

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech junior Taylor Askew has been named to the prestigious ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football Team as selected by CoSIDA. Askew is a second-team pick, one of just two players from the Ohio Valley Conference selected.

A junior from Knoxville, Askew owns a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in political science, and has been a starter for the Golden Eagles in every game the last two seasons. He is part of an offensive line that ranks among national FCS leaders in fewest sacks allowed, and helped the Golden Eagles bring home the 2009 Sgt. York Trophy by going 3-0 against the league's in-state schools. This season Tech finished second in the OVC standings and were 6-5 overall, the program's first winning season since 2004.

Askew has been named to the TTU Athletic Director's Honor Roll all six of his semesters. The winner of the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for posting the highest GPA in the league among all conference football players each of the past two years, Askew was also named to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll the last two seasons. A 2006 graduate of The Webb School in Knoxville, Askew helped his high school team to the TSSAA state playoffs and a runnerup finish in 2005. A verstile prep athlete, he also lettered in track & field, wrestling and lacrosse, and was was captain of both the football and lacrosse teams.

"Taylor deserves every honor he receives," said head coach Watson Brown. "He's one of the greatest young men and one of the hardest-working young men to play this game and we are fortunate to have him in our program."

Askew's selection marks the 34th time a Tennessee Tech student-athlete has been named Academic All-America.

"This award is a wonderful reflection on Taylor, on the team, on the University and on the Ohio Valley Conference," said TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. "In order to make the Academic All-America teams, you have to be a good player, not just a good student. It shows that he's not only a good student, but also a good football player. Any time a young man like Taylor gets recognition such as this, it helps our university and our athletics programs. It's great for our recruiting, not only to the football program but also to our school."

The previous Tech Academic All-America winners and their years are: 1976 Donley Canary, Baseball; 1978 Pat Kannapel, Basketball; 1982 Jerilynn Harper, Basketball; 1985 Angie Duncan, Volleyball; 1986 Andy Rittenhouse, Football; 1986 Angie Duncan, Volleyball; 1987 Derek Lane, Baseball; 1987 Angie Duncan, Volleyball; 1987 Andy Rittenhouse, Football;1988 Jim Cornelius, Golf; 1990, Lisa Johnson, Softball; 1993 Andrea Roark, Softball; 1996 Dena Adams, Track & Field; 1996 Stacy Hughes, Softball; 1996 Dena Adams, Cross Country; 1997 Dena Adams, Track & Field; 1997 Rachel Melchiorre, Volleyball; 1998 Jenny Adams, Track & Field; 1999 Adnan Hadzialic, Tennis; 1999 Wes Gallagher, Football; 2000 Diane Seng, Basketball; 2000 Nick Solomon, Football; 2001 Janet Holt, Basketball; 2002 Janet Holt, Basketball; 2002 LeeAnne Mongar, Softball; 2003 Stephanie Ward, CC/Track; 2003 LeeAnne Mongar, Softball; 2004 Stephanie Ward, CC/Track; 2005 Anne Morrow, Volleyball; 2007 Beth Boden, Softball; 2008 Thomas Nelson, Baseball; 2008 Beth Boden, Softball; 2008 Stephanie Fischer, Softball.

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was named the University Division Football Academic All-America of the Year. Overall there were 24 players named to the Academic All-America first-team and 25 players named to the second-team. The ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Football University Division first-team has three Scholar-Athletes with perfect 4.0 G.P.A.'s. There are six graduate students, 14 seniors and four juniors on the first team. The 24 members of the first team have an average G.P.A. of 3.79.

Askew is joined by Josh Cain of Jacksonville State on this year's team as OVC selections.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit http://www.cosida.com.