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Rocco Named CoSIDA Academic All-American

November 27, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Chris Rocco is the third football player and 16th student-athlete in Liberty's athletics history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.

Chris Rocco is the third football player and 16th student-athlete in Liberty's athletics history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.

2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America ® first-team football team

Chris Rocco has joined an elite group of former football players and Liberty student-athletes as the senior defensive back has been named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America ® first-team football team, presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Rocco (Forest, Va.) just recently completed his four-year career at Liberty where he was a part of the winningest senior class in program history with a 32-13 record.

This past season, Rocco ranked third on the team with 57 stops, to go along with three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. At the end of the season, the three-year starter led the team in active career tackling with 163 career stops, 11 pass breakups and five forced fumbles.

He was one of 11 players to intercept a pass in 2009, helping the Flames finish the year ranked No. 8 in passed intercepted (17), No. 1 in turnover margin (1.91) and No. 25 in scoring defense (19.09 average points per game allowed).

Rocco was one of 24 student-athletes named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America ® first-team football list, which is the highest academic honor handed out to an NCAA student-athlete.

Since coming onto Liberty Mountain three-plus years ago, Rocco has been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll three times and the 2009 Big South all-academic team, as he has maintained a 3.98 cumulative GPA in kinesiology.

Rocco is the third football player in program history to be named to a CoSIDA Academic All-America team and the second to earn first-team honors.

Jarrod Everson was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, as the defensive lineman was a second-team selection in 1997 and a first-team honoree in 1998. Prior to Rocco's selection, Liberty's most recent CoSIDA Academic All-American football player was Jay Cline, as the tight end earned second-team honors in 2005.

Rocco is also the 16th student-athlete in Liberty's athletics history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors at the NCAA Division I level and the first since men's soccer player Mike Gelatt was named to the first-team soccer listing last season.