Montclair, NJ (11/4/10) - Junior quarterback Tom Fischer (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) and senior defensive back Gary Knoeppel (West Long Branch, NJ / Shore Regional) were named to the ESPN Academic All-District 2 Football Team released on Thursday afternoon.
Fischer was named to the First Team while Knoeppel grabbed Second-Team honors. All First-Team selections are now eligible for the All-America Team, which is expected to be announced later this month. The duo also become the first All-Academic selections for Montclair State since placekicker Dan Deneher was named Academic All-America in the 1980s. To be eligibile for selection, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and be a starter or significant reserve.
Fischer and Knoeppel helped lead Montclair to one of the best starts in school history as the Red Hawks won their first seven games and reached the No. 1 spot in the NCAA Regional Rankings. In addition, Montclair ran its regular-season win streak to 16 and NJAC streak to 15 games.
Fischer is having his best season since taking over the reigns as the starting quarterback in 2008. The junior has completed 109 passes for 1,583 yards and 18 touchdown passes. He is currently the NJAC in leader in passing average at 197.0 yards per game and is second in total offense. Fischer posted back-to-back four-touchdown games against Buffalo State and Western Connecticut while throwing for a season-best 290 yards in the win versus Buffalo State. Fischer also moved into fourth place on the all-time MSU list for completions (374), attempts (678), yards (4,984) and total offense (4,845) as well a TD passes (40).
in addition, Fischer is a History Education major with a 3.65 cumulative GPA earning Dean's List honors four times including last Fall when he led MSU to the NJAC Championship and second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs. He is also a member of the National Student-Athlete Honor Society and is a two-time member of the NJAC All-Academic Team.
Knoeppel has provided the Red Hawks with big plays during the season. In eight games, he has posted 34 tackles, including 23 solo. Knoeppel had intercepted three passes returning two for touchdowns and posting seven passes defended, a figure that currently ranks fifth in the NJAC. Knoeppel returned picks for touchdowns against Kean and The College of New Jersey helping MSU to victories. He is tied for 15th at Montclair State on the career interceptions with nine.
Knoeppel, a three-year starter, is a Physical Education and Health major and has a cumulative 3.60 GPA while earning his way on to the Dean's List four times. Like Fischer, he is a member of the National Student-Athlete Honor Society and is a two-time member of the NJAC All-Academic Team.