Five Grid Bears Named to Academic All-MVFC Team
Dec. 4, 2013
ST. LOUIS – Five Missouri State football student-athletes were honored Wednesday (Dec. 4) with selections to the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s All-Academic Team, the conference office announced.
Missouri State honorees include first-team performer Caleb Schaffitzel (Jr., S, Fair Grove, Mo.), second-team selection Matt Swan (Sr., TE, Springfield, Mo.) and honorable mention picks Andrew Beisel (Jr., ILB, Fenton, Mo.), Kurt Kutter (Sr., OL, O’Fallon, Mo.) and Austin Witmer (Sr., K, Grand Island, Neb.).
Schaffitzel was announced as a first-team All-MVFC pick earlier this week for the second year in a row and also earns his second straight MVFC All-Academic Team first-team laurel. He has a 3.92 GPA in Wildlife Conservation and Management and was a 2012 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American. Schaffitzel is also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award for the top defensive player in the Division I FCS ranks. n league games, he led MVFC in interceptions (0.50) and finished second among all players in tackles (9.6) and passes defended (1.25) while recording his second straight season with over 100 total stops. Overall, he ranked second in the MVFC and 44th nationally in tackles (9.16) and shared league lead while ranking 30th nationally in interceptions (0.33). As a finalist on this year’s Capital One Academic All-America ballot, he has already been named to the Academic All-District 6 team and earned the fall 2013 MVC Leadership and Service Award. In addition to being named FCS Co-Defensive Back of the Year last season by the College Football Performance Awards, Schaffitzel was an AP All-America (3rd Team) and Sports Network All-America (3rd Team) selection.
Swan was also a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District 6 selection this year. He has a 3.57 GPA while pursuing his Master’s in Business Administration. The Springfield native started all 12 games and was instrumental on every special teams unit. He graduated in December 2012 and is a four-time recipient of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll Award (2009-12). Other honors for Swan include the MVFC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award honors in 2012 and the MSU Special Teams Player of the Year in 2012.
Beisel has a 3.55 GPA in General Business. He finished second on the team in total tackles with 96 while starting all 12 games this fall. He registered 28 solo stops, 2 tackles for loss, an interception and a forced fumble for the season and had four games with double-figure tackles, including 16 in the season finale against UNI on Nov. 16 with a forced fumble. He posted a 98.2 percent assignment grade for the season and 86.8 percent technique and performance grade in 721 snaps. He was also an MVFC All-Academic Team honorable mention pick last season, was named to the 2011 MVFC All-Newcomer Team and has earned MVFC Honor Roll honors three times (2010-12).
Kutter holds a 3.44 GPA in Civil Engineering and ended the season having started the club’s last 34 consecutive games. He carried out a 98-percent assignment grade and 74 percent overall grade with 38 knockdown blocks in 2013. He also helped anchor an MSU offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks (1.12) and helped accumulate the second-most rushing yards (185.5) in league play. This is Kutter’s second straight year on the MVFC All-Academic Team as an honorable mention selection. He is also a four-time Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll recipient (2009-12), while earning the MVFC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award in 2010.
Witmer is an Accounting major with a 3.64 GPA. He was a four-year starter for the Bears and was 28-for-30 on extra points and 5-for-11 on field goals to finish second on team in scoring (43) in 2013. He also averaged 55.8 yards on 54 kickoffs with 14 touchbacks. For his career, Witmer scored 167 points on 28 field goals and 83 extra points while averaging 59.5 yards on 200 kickoffs and 58 touchbacks. This is his third MVFC All-Academic Team (2012-13) selection in addition to previous league honors with the Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award the last two seasons. Witmer has received three national special teams player of the week honors during his career.
The Bears have now had 34 MVFC All-Academic Team selections under head coach Terry Allen. This is the fifth time in Allen’s eight seasons the Bears have had five players selected to the elite list.
The MVFC announced its All-MVFC selections Monday its All-Newcomer Team yesterday.
Allen and his staff will recognize the club’s award winners and 21 seniors on Sunday, Dec. 8 at Plaster Student Union on the Springfield campus. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the program and buffet-style dinner starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for just $20 and may be reserved by calling the MSU Football office at (417) 836-5343.