Five Bears Honored on MVFC All-Academic Team
TE - Matt Thayer becomes a two-time MVFC All-Academic Team pick
TE - Matt Thayer becomes a two-time MVFC All-Academic Team pick

Nov. 28, 2012

Complete MVFC Release  |  All-Conference Release  |  All-Newcomer Release

 ST. LOUIS -- Missouri State was well represented on the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team released by the ten-member league late Wednesday (Nov. 28) with a pair of first-team selections and three honorable mention picks.

 Senior tight end Matt Thayer (Bellevue, Neb.) and sophomore safety Caleb Schaffitzel (Fair Grove, Mo.) were among the 11 players named to the first team.

 Thayer, who has a 3.39 grade-point average in Criminology, was named All-MVC honorable mention earlier this week after he collected 38 passes for 294 yards and a touchdown this season for Coach Terry Allen's squad. He was second on the team in receptions, closed out his career with 23 consecutive starts and was a two-time MSU Offensive Player of the Week this year. His best game of the season was against Southern Illinois (Sept. 22) when he had career highs with 8 receptions for 72 yards.  He was an MVFC All-Academic second-team pick last year.

 Schaffitzel has a 3.97 GPA in Wildlife Conservation Management and is coming off a breakout season for MSU. The All-MVFC first-teamer collected a team-high 109 tackles and 5 interceptions to go with 11 passes defended. He was one of just two sophomores on the All-Academic first team and is currently tied for 8th nationally in interceptions per game (0.45) and 24th in tackles per game (9.91). He is on the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot, is a two-time MVFC Defensive Player of the Week, two-time CFPA National Defensive Back of the Week and one time CFPA National Defensive Player of the Week this season.



 The Bears also had three honorable mention picks on this year's Valley All-Academic squad in Kurt Kutter (Jr., OL, O'Fallon, Mo.), Andrew Beisel (So., LB, Fenton, Mo.) and Austin Witmer (Jr., K, Grand Island, Neb.). 

 Kutter has a 3.44 GPA in Civil Engineering and was the Bears' starting left guard this season, grading out at 76 percent overall with an assignment grade of 98 percent.

 Beisel has a 3.52 GPA in Business and was third on the team in tackles with 65, including 57 in league play. The 2011 MVFC All-Newcomer Team selection had 13 tackles against No. 1 North Dakota State (Nov. 3) and recorded three double-figure tackle efforts in conference play.

 Witmer has a 3.68 GPA in accounting. He was also an honorable mention pick on the 2011 MVFC All-Academic Team and ranks 26th nationally in field goals per game (1.09). He led the Bears in scoring with 56 points, made 12-of-16 field goals this season was 20-for-22 on extra points.

 The Bears will recognize their academic all-conference honorees and their other outstanding individual performers this Sunday at 6 p.m., at the team's annual Awards Banquet at Plaster Student Union. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by contacting the MSU Football Office at (417) 836-5343.

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