Alabama A&M’s Cushine Earns Historic Selection To CoSIDA Football Academic All-District Team


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Alabama A&M Athletics continues to showcase the academic prowess of its student-athletes as junior defensive end Marcus Cushine (Broward County, Fla.) has been named to the CoSIDA Football Academic All-District Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday, June 10.

Cushine’s selection is not only the first by a football player in 29 years, it also marks the first time in program history the Bulldogs have had two such honorees in the same season. He joins junior women’s basketball forward Dariauna Lewis (Omaha, Neb.) who became the first A&M student-athlete to earn that recognition since 1990-91 when she did so last month.

She would go on to become the first CoSIDA Academic All-America at the NCAA Division I level, joining football’s Tim McCannelly (Second-Team in 1979-80) and Tracy Kendall (First-Team in 1989-90 and 1990-91) in that select group. Those individuals comprise the program’s other four Academic All-District selections with each going on to earn Academic All-America honors.

Chosen by position, Cushine is one of just four defensive linemen selected from District 4, which covers all Division I football programs from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, and among just 34 selected nationwide. Of those, his sterling 3.8 Grade Point Average (GPA) in Criminal Justice is the fifth highest.

Overall he is one of 28 individuals to be recognized from District 4, a total of 206 nationwide and one of just two from the ranks of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The only other such honoree was Alabama State running back Ezra Gray.

A prestigious honor, it is highly competitive as it encompasses both FBS and FCS programs and this year’s District 4 selections included the likes of Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Tech and Georgia.

With the COVID-19 impacted season, CoSIDA made the decision to evaluate nominees by career statistics and accomplishments rather than just the 2020-21 campaign.

Already with his degree in hand, Cushine is a two-time SWAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection (2019, 2020) and three-time A&M Athletic Directors Honor Roll choice in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

On the field, he was among the very best at his position in Spring 2021, finishing second in the nation at the FCS level with seven sacks to go with 20 tackles (14 solo) at five per game, as well as a pair of quarterback hurries. For his career he has 16 sacks and 68 tackles, 45 of which have been solo and 25 that have been for loss as well as a pair of pass breakups and a 53-yard fumble recovery for touchdown in a 48-43 win vs. Jackson State on November 9, 2019.

Cushine’s career has also garnered a number of honors, including three All-American selections and five All-Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) nods. He was named a BOXTOROW First-Team All-American following the Spring 2021 season, Honorable Mention in 2019 and Preseason prior to this past season and was All-SWAC in S2021 and 2019 as well as a Preseason selection this past spring. He was also named All-SWAC by Phil Steele in 2019 and was chosen to the latter’s S2021 Preseason First-Team.

He would deliver three of his five career multi sack games during the unique Spring 2021 campaign but would save his best for last as he recorded a career-high 12 tackles in a thrilling 40-33 victory over No. 25 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5/1) in the SWAC Championship Game. That effort secured the program’s first overall league title since 2006, the first undefeated season (5-0, 3-0 SWAC) in 53 years and the first official HBCU National Championship in school history.

The first defensive player ever to earn All-District honors for the football program, Cushine is now eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors which will be announced on Monday, July 12.

The 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, have been released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

To be eligible for Academic All-District and All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA 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 20,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Teams (District 4)

QBMac JonesAlabamaGr.4.0/4.0Communications Studies (UG)/Sports Hospitality (G)
RBEzra GrayAlabama StateGr.4.0/4.0CIS (UG)/Applied Technologies (G)
RBAdam PrenticeSouth CarolinaGr.3.33/3.60Civil Engineering (G)
WRRaleigh WebbThe CitadelGr.3.72/4.0MBA/Leadership (G)
WRLuke WhittemoreTroyGr.3.90/3.50Sports Management
TEGarrison MooreWoffordSr.3.86Chemistry
OLBrian AnkersonSouth AlabamaGr.3.83/4.0Criminal Justice (UG)/Public Administration (G)
OLSteven BedoskyCoastal CarolinaGr.3.83/3.75Instructional Technology (G)
OLLandon DickersonAlabamaGr.3.68/3.72Sports Management (UG)/MBA (G)
OLRyan JohnsonGeorgia TechGr.3.86/3.60Analytics
OLAustin StidhamTroySr.3.90Biology/Biomedical Sciences
KAnders CarlsonAuburnGr.3.92Pro Flight Management/Aviation
DLMarcus CushineAlabama A&MJr.3.80Criminal Justice
DLTarron JacksonCoastal CarolinaSr.3.43Mathematics
DLGi’Narious JohnsonSouth AlabamaJr.3.41Professional Health Sciences
DLBarron KingMercerSr.3.62Marketing
LBLuke BrasherAlabama-BirminghamSr.3.81Kinesiology / Exercise Science
LBNakobe DeanGeorgiaSo.3.53Mechanical Engineering
LBSilas KellyCoastal CarolinaGr.3.85/3.84MBA (G)
DBDerek GainousCentral FloridaSr.3.64Criminal Justice
DBKyle NixonTroySr.3.34Business
DBK.J. SmithNorth AlabamaGr.4.0/4.0Health (G)
DBAlex SpillumCoastal CarolinaSr.3.55Communication
PJoe GurleyNorth AlabamaSr.3.91General Management
PCharles QuversonCoastal CarolinaGr.3.72/3.73Information Technology (G)
STJacob FuquaAlabama-BirminghamGr.3.69/4.0History (UG)/Education (G)
STSeth GlausierGeorgia StateSo.3.99Business Management
STBill TaylorAuburnSr.3.59Agricultural Communications

Alabama A&M History of Academic All-District Selections (5 Selections/4 Individuals)
2020-21 – Marcus Cushine (Football – DL)
2020-21 – Dariauna Lewis (Women’s Basketball)&
1990-91 – Tracy Kendall (Football – QB)%
1989-90 – Tracy Kendall (Football – QB)%
1979-80 – Tim McCannelly (Football – C)*
%First-Team Academic All-America (only individual to accomplish in program history)
&Third-Team Academic All-America
*First Academic All-America in Program History

About Willie Alex Hines 1154 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.