For the second-straight year, Academic All-American is honored on the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team
His post-football career has begun – sans long hair -- but the honors keep coming in for Eastern Washington University football player Jeff Minnerly.
The senior safety and hometown product added to his impressive academic resume by being selected to the Academic All-Star Team chosen for the 15th year by the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association (FCS ADA) and presented by KP Sports. It’s the second-straight year the Ferris High School graduate has been honored on that squad, and comes on the heels of recently being selected as an Academic All-American.
Minnerly finished the fall quarter with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and has a 3.79 accumulative grade point average at EWU. He completed his degree in finance in the fall, and will continue his studies this winter toward a second degree in electrical engineering.
There were 98 total nominees for the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team. Eastern players have now been honored 14 times since the award began in 1998. Minnerly and kicker Mike Jarrett were honored in 2011.
In his senior season, Minnerly broke his collarbone against Montana on Sept. 29, and didn’t return until Senior Day versus UC Davis on Nov. 10. He finished his senior season with 35 tackles, an interception and a pass broken up, as the Eagles finished 11-3 overall and advanced to the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs after winning a share of the Big Sky Conference title.
He started 24 of 40 games he played in his career, with career totals of 162 tackles, five interceptions, nine passes broken up and two forced fumbles. He helped Eastern win 25-of-32 Big Sky Conference games and 38 overall the last four seasons, and was a part of EWU’s NCAA Division I Championship in 2010.
Minnerly’s long hair has been a trademark of his, which started as a friendly wager between teammates and continued for three years. During the 2010 season, Minnerly and linebacker Ronnie Hamlin challenged each other to see who could go the longest without cutting their hair. Linebacker Zach Johnson was also in on the wager, but dropped out after EWU won the NCAA Division I title. Minnerly eventually cut his hair two days after the 2012 season concluded on Dec. 17, and donated the hair -- five ponytails of 10 inches long each -- to Locks of Love.
Minnerly had an honor-filled career as a 4.0 student at Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash., and followed that with a variety of athletic and academic awards at Eastern. In December, Minnerly became the eighth EWU player in school history since 1989 to be honored on the Capital One Academic All-America Division I football team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He earned the honor after advancing to the national ballot following his third All-District VIII honor announced earlier this season.
In addition, he will earn his fourth Big Sky Conference All-Academic award this year, and in 2011, he repeated as an honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference selection.
In the 2010 season, Minnerly was awarded the “Elite 88” Award by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He received the award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the participants in the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Eastern won that game 20-19, as Minnerly finished with two passes broken up and two tackles.