Former Liberty football standout Pat Kelly has been selected as one of two recipients of the 12th Annual KP Sports Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Kelly, along with Youngstown State defensive tackle Nick DeKraker, were named as this year's award winners and each will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. The pair were selected from a group of six finalists.
They will receive their awards during the association's annual membership meeting being held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, being held at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla. The award presentation will take place at a special luncheon on June 13, 2013.
"FCS ADA was once again proud to honor its deserving student-athletes with the Academic All-Star team in early January. The selection of the Postgraduate Scholarship recipients marks the culmination of our annual process and we want to congratulate both Nick and Pat on receiving this year's scholarships," said FCS ADA President Ron Strollo, chair of the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team Selection Committee and director of athletics at Youngstown State University.
"Each year, the committee is tasked with selecting two individuals from a plethora of deserving scholar-athletes, and this year was no different. Nick and Pat are a shining example of the importance of academic success within Division I FCS institutions."
In December, Kelly was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America® Football Division I first-team for the second year in a row. He was the 18th Division I student-athlete in athletics department history to be named to the top academic team in the country and the sixth to be named to multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America® teams.
Kelly's additional academic honors include a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll (2009, 2010 and 2011) and being named to the 2011 and 2012 FCS Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star team.
On the field, Kelly led all Big South receivers and ranked No. 11 in the country in receptions per game (7.27). He finished the 2012 season with 80 receptions, falling one short of tying the program's single-season record held by Pat Nelson (81, 1991).
Kelly set a program and Big South single-game record during the 2012 season, finishing the Coastal Carolina game on Oct. 27 with 16 receptions.
Kelly finished his career with 2,107 receiving yards, making him the fifth player in program history and seventh in Big South history to eclipse the 2,000-yard career receiving mark.
KP Sports Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards:
2012 Nick DeKraker (Youngstown State) Pat Kelly (Liberty)
2011 Mitch Allen (Wofford) Ben Boothby (Northern Iowa)
2010 Kyle Glazier (Western Illinois) Tim McGraw (Northern Colorado)
2009 Josh Cain (Jacksonville State) Andrew Miller (North Dakota)
2008 Andrew Berry (Harvard) Ryan Berry (South Dakota State)
2007 Brandon Cramer (Dayton) Cory Koenig (South Dakota State)
2006 Adi Filipovic (Furman) Darren Schmidt (Columbia)
2005 Adam Degraffenreid (Charleston Southern) Nick Hartigan (Brown)
2004 Stephen Bono (Lafayette) Brandon Mason (Elon)
2003 Matthew Sharpe (Virginia Military Institute) John Frieser (Colgate)
2002 Chase Corn (Wofford)
2001 Vince Huntsberger (Montana)
Note: A special Review Committee of Football Championship Subdivision athletics directors was responsible for selecting the all-star team and scholarship finalists. Completing this task were Ron Strollo, Youngstown State (chair); Ken Beazer, Southern Utah; Charlie Cobb, Appalachian State; Brian Hutchinson, Morehead State; Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth; and Jeff Tingey, Idaho State. About the FCS ADA: Now in its 20th year, the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance Football Championship Subdivision football. For more information on the FCS ADA, please visit www.fcsada.com. The FCS ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 48th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.
About KP Sports: KP Sports is one of the fastest growing collegiate sports marketing companies that partners with university athletic programs to increase revenue opportunities in corporate sponsorship, ticket sales, events, and many other revenue sources.
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