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.
ABOUT THE COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA PROGRAM
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)
|QB||Mac Jones||Alabama||Gr.||4.0/4.0||Communications Studies (UG)/Sports Hospitality (G)|
|RB||Ezra Gray||Alabama State||Gr.||4.0/4.0||CIS (UG)/Applied Technologies (G)|
|RB||Adam Prentice||South Carolina||Gr.||3.33/3.60||Civil Engineering (G)|
|WR||Raleigh Webb||The Citadel||Gr.||3.72/4.0||MBA/Leadership (G)|
|WR||Luke Whittemore||Troy||Gr.||3.90/3.50||Sports Management|
|OL||Brian Ankerson||South Alabama||Gr.||3.83/4.0||Criminal Justice (UG)/Public Administration (G)|
|OL||Steven Bedosky||Coastal Carolina||Gr.||3.83/3.75||Instructional Technology (G)|
|OL||Landon Dickerson||Alabama||Gr.||3.68/3.72||Sports Management (UG)/MBA (G)|
|OL||Ryan Johnson||Georgia Tech||Gr.||3.86/3.60||Analytics|
|OL||Austin Stidham||Troy||Sr.||3.90||Biology/Biomedical Sciences|
|K||Anders Carlson||Auburn||Gr.||3.92||Pro Flight Management/Aviation|
|DL||Marcus Cushine||Alabama A&M||Jr.||3.80||Criminal Justice|
|DL||Tarron Jackson||Coastal Carolina||Sr.||3.43||Mathematics|
|DL||Gi’Narious Johnson||South Alabama||Jr.||3.41||Professional Health Sciences|
|LB||Luke Brasher||Alabama-Birmingham||Sr.||3.81||Kinesiology / Exercise Science|
|LB||Nakobe Dean||Georgia||So.||3.53||Mechanical Engineering|
|LB||Silas Kelly||Coastal Carolina||Gr.||3.85/3.84||MBA (G)|
|DB||Derek Gainous||Central Florida||Sr.||3.64||Criminal Justice|
|DB||K.J. Smith||North Alabama||Gr.||4.0/4.0||Health (G)|
|DB||Alex Spillum||Coastal Carolina||Sr.||3.55||Communication|
|P||Joe Gurley||North Alabama||Sr.||3.91||General Management|
|P||Charles Quverson||Coastal Carolina||Gr.||3.72/3.73||Information Technology (G)|
|ST||Jacob Fuqua||Alabama-Birmingham||Gr.||3.69/4.0||History (UG)/Education (G)|
|ST||Seth Glausier||Georgia State||So.||3.99||Business Management|
|ST||Bill Taylor||Auburn||Sr.||3.59||Agricultural 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