Lou Groza finalist David Ruffer added to his list of accolades Tuesday when he was named a member of the 2010 First Team ESPN Academic All-America Football Team.
Ruffer is the 31st Irish player (37th selection) to earn first team designation, most recently bestowed upon current Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson for the 2006 season. Carlson earned second-team honors as a graduate student in 2007.
Ruffer is the 55th academic All-American in Notre Dame’s program history (37 first-team selections, 16 second-team, one third-team, and one honorable mention choice). The Irish trail only Nebraska’s 98 for the top spot
Further, Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 218 Academic All-Americans (behind the Huskers 277) since the program's inception in 1952. 92 Notre Dame athletes have earned the Academic All-America distinction since 2000, the highest among any school in the nation.
Ruffer has accumulated a 3.90 GPA while studying economics.
Voting for the ESPN Academic All-America Team was conducted by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Committee. 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.
Former Irish center Tim Ruddy was twice honored with the CoSIDA first-team designation (1992-93) as was defensive tackle Greg Dingens (1984-85), free safety Joe Restic (1977-78), defensive tackle Greg Marx (1971-72), split end Tom Gatewood (1970-71). The school’s only three-time recipient is halfback Joe Heap, who was so honored during the program’s first three seasons (1952-53-54).
The current Irish roster has an additional tie to the honor: senior tight end Bobby Burger’s father, Bob, earned the accolade in 1980.
Other notables include 1966 national champion linebacker Jim Lynch, 1970 signal-caller Joe Theismann, 1973 national champion tight end and NFL Hall of Famer Dave Casper, and 1977 national champion and three-time All-America selection Ken MacAfee.
Former kick coverage demon Mike Anello earned second-team honors in both 2008 and 2009, while defensive end extraordinaire Trevor Laws joined the aforementioned John Carlson with second-team honors in 2007.
2010 ESPN Academic All-America (selected by CoSIDA)
The 2010 squad is paced by Penn State's three honorees while defending champion Alabama placed two athletes on the first-team. Four opponents from this year's Irish schedule were honored as well: Purdue's Kyle Adams; Stanford's Chase Beeler, Navy's John Dowd, and Army's Jordan Trimble.
- QB Greg McElroy: Alabama (Business Marketing)
- RB Kyle Minett: South Dakota State (Economics)
- RB Jacquise Terry: Kent State (Aeronautics)
- WR Joe Allaria: Southern Illinois (Marketing)
- WR Anthony Nelson: Massachusetts (Economics)
- WR Kealoha Pilares: Hawaii (Kinesiology, Recreation Science)
- TE Kyle Adams: Purdue (Management)
- OL Chase Beeler: Stanford (History)
- OL Patrick Conroy: Brown (Business Economics)
- OL John Dowd: U.S. Naval Academy (Mechanical Engineering)
- OL Barrett Jones: Alabama (Accounting)
- OL Stefen Wisniewski: Penn State (Secondary Education)
- K David Ruffer: Notre Dame (Economics)
- DL Sam Acho: Texas (Honors Business)
- DL Chance Coda: Southern Illinois (Accounting)
- DL Pete Massaro: Penn State (Finance)
- DL Brandon Wingeier: Dayton (Mechanical Engineering)
- LB Chris Colasanti: Penn State (Kinesiology, Pre-Medicine)
- LB Kyle Glazier: Western Illinois (Law Enforcement, Justice Administration)
- LB Michael Hodges: Texas A&M (Sports Management)
- DB Austin Cassidy: Nebraska (Psychology)
- DB A.J. Kaltenbach: Dayton (Business Marketing)
- DB Erik Stoll: Montana (Biology)
- DB Jordan Trimble: U.S. Military Academy (Systems Engineering)
- P Drew Butler: Georgia (Telecommunication Arts)