Six Cal Poly football players land on Big Sky Conference all-academic football team

Six Cal Poly football players land on Big Sky Conference all-academic football team

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- For the second straight year, six Cal Poly football players have earned spots on the Big Sky Conference's All-Academic Football Team.

Offensive lineman David Chellsen made the team for the fourth time while defensive back Carter Nichols claimed the honor for the third time.

Punter Mitchell Souza, linebacker Timothy Miller, defensive back Freddie Gaines and slot back Xavier Moore all landed on the team for the first time.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must have met and/or exceeded the following minimum requirements: 1) Participated in at least half of the team's competitions; 2) Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at the conclusion of the most recently completed term; 3) Completed at least one academic term at his/her current Big Sky institution.

Chellsen missed the final five games of the 2019 season due to injury. The industrial engineering major was part of an offensive line that finished No. 9 in the Football Championship Subdivision in rushing offense, No. 5 in fourth-down conversions, No. 7 in time of possession and No. 25 in third-down conversions.

Nichols was fourth on the defense with 51 total tackles, including 33 solo stops. The business administration major also intercepted a pass and broke up five others.

Also a business administration major, Souza averaged 42.4 yards on 54 punts with a long of 58 yards. Two punts were touchbacks, 12 landed inside the 20, nine were 50 or more yards and 11 resulted in fair catches.

Miller, a business administration major, played in eight of Cal Poly's 11 games, primarily as a backup middle linebacker, and earned one tackle. A communication studies major, Gaines was a team captain and backed up the safeties.

Moore, who majors in civil engineering, rushed for 105 yards, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, and caught three passes for 39 yards and one touchdown, an eight-yarder from Jalen Hamler at Oregon State.

Chellsen and Nichols were seniors last fall while Gaines was a junior. Souza and Moore each has two years of eligibility remaining and Miller has three.

The Big Sky had a record total of 594 student-athletes from football, women's volleyball, women's soccer and men's and women's cross country recognized for the fall season, the seventh straight year with 500 or more honorees and fourth consecutive with at least 570. There were 392 student-athletes who registered a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, while 55 student-athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Cal Poly adds three more assistants to Beau Baldwin’s football coaching staff

"The Big Sky puts academic success a priority across the league," second-year Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. "Our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom, as it shows with a new league high for fall honorees. It is a testament to the commitment and dedication that our student-athletes put in daily in the classroom and in their sport."

Cal Poly only plays football in the Big Sky, with most remaining sports as a member of the Big West Conference.

- Eric Burdick, Cal Poly Associate Director of Athletics for Communications

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