AUSTIN, Texas --- Moravian College junior defensive back Nick Zambelli has been named to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Football First Team for NCAA Division III schools.
"Congratulations to Nick on this tremendous accomplishment," stated Director of Athletics & Recreation Mary Beth Spirk. "We are very fortunate to have Nick represent Moravian College, the Athletic Department and especially the football team. He is an amazing young man. Nick is one of the best whether he is competing on the football field, performing in the classroom or giving back in our community. We are honored to have Nick a part of our athletic department and look forward to another year of success with him. He is a role model for every student athlete here at Moravian College."
To be eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.30 grade-point average, be a sophomore, junior or senior and be a starter or significant reserve. District IV in NCAA Division III is made up of schools from Pennsylvania. Moravian has had 48 Greyhounds including two this fall named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans®, and Zambelli is the fourth football player to receive the honor, joining Mike Paciulli, who was on the First Team in 1996 and the Second Team in 1995, Jud Frank, who made the Second Team in 1993 and Jeff Pollock, who was on the First Team in 1987. Zambelli is Moravian's 18th First Team honoree in all sports.
Zambelli earned a spot on the national ballot after being named to the District IV CoSIDA All-District Team. District IV consists of all of the NCAA Division III Teams in Pennsylvania. He is one of five Centennial Conference student-athletes to earn Academic All-America honors and one of two to be named to the First Team.
"Nick's unrelenting desire to compete to be the best he can be both in the classroom and on the field has earned him this outstanding achievement," commented Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn, who played with Paciulli. "His commitment to excellence comes out in everything that he does. Nick is a great leader and an outstanding person. Academic All-American is not an easy accolade to achieve, and Nick is more than deserving of this recognition. I am very proud of his academic and athletic success, as well as earning First Team Academic All-American."
Zambelli is majoring in Economics and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at Moravian, and he has a 4.00 GPA. Last month, he was honored as the Centennial Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year with the top GPA among the 12 junior and senior football players to be named to the Academic All-Centennial Team, an honor that is bestowed on student-athletes that earn All-Centennial Conference honors and a spot on the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll, which Zambelli made for the second straight fall.
This season, Zambelli recorded 70 tackles to finish third on the Moravian squad, and his total included 44 solo stops, one tackle for loss and one sack as he was selected to the Centennial All-Conference Second Team. Zambelli also recorded six passes defended including three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He was named the Greyhounds' Most Valuable Player in the season finale at rival Muhlenberg College after a career-high 13 tackles and an interception on the goal line. Zambelli, who has been a three-year starter at Moravian and was a co-captain for the Hounds this fall, has made 164 tackles with 106 solo stops, seven interceptions, 17 passes defended, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, one tackle for loss and one sack in 31 career contests.
To view all of the CoSIDA Academic All-America teams, visit http://academicallamerica.com/index.aspx.