Hall Named First Team Academic All-American
by Randall Stewart, Director of Athletic Communications - November 30, 2016
Junior offensive lineman Sam Hall has been named a First Team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Hall, who is a Biology major with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, is Newberry’s third-ever Academic All-America selection following Mark Weeks in 1982 and Brandon Gantt in 2009. CoSIDA voters are instructed to take both academic achievement and athletic accomplishments into account when selecting the Academic All-America teams to honor those who excel in every aspect of being a student-athlete.
The Conway native has already garnered significant academic accolades this season. He was named the recipient of the inaugural South Atlantic Conference Elite 18 Award for football, given to the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average at the final site of competition in each of the SAC’s 18 sports, and earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District team last month.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Sam for everything that he’s accomplished,” said head coach Todd Knight. “The kid’s tremendous work ethic in the classroom carries over onto the field as well. We knew we had a good one when we signed him a couple of years ago, but he has exceeded our expectations. Quite simply, he’s an outstanding young man.”
Hall saw his role dramatically increase as an experienced third-year player this season, appearing in 10 of Newberry’s 12 games with three total starts. He averaged over 80 percent on the season on offensive line coach Na’Shan Goddard’s 100-point scale that takes into account all aspects of offensive line play, grading out a winner (80 or above) in five games. He accumulated 15 pancake blocks on the season.
Hall was a member of Newberry’s formidable offensive line, blocking for a unit that finished the season with the top offense in the South Atlantic Conference, set school records in scoring, points per game, total offense, and passing yardage, and saw nine all-conference selections on the offensive side of the ball.
Hall was the only player from the South Atlantic Conference named to the first team. Carson-Newman senior tight end Cooper Davis, also a Biology major that sports a 3.91 GPA, was a second team honoree.