Dayton’s Tucker Yinger named PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year, leads 26th Academic All-PFL Teams

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

ST. LOUIS, Mo.– Dayton redshirt senior running back Tucker Yinger was named the 2018 Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Wednesday, leading a group of 50 student-athletes named to the 26th Academic All-PFL Teams, as selected by the league’s athletic communications directors.

Yinger, of Columbus, Ohio, is finishing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton and has posted a 3.81 grade-point average during his academic career. In addition, to being named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he joins a select few to be a four-time First-Team Academic All-PFL honoree.

The College Sports Information Director of America has twice recognized Yinger as an Academic All-American®, as a second-team selection in 2016 and a first-team honoree in 2017. He is a nominee for the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Teams®, which will be announced this week.

On the field, Yinger is a two-time First-Team All-PFL honoree after becoming the first Dayton running back to post back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns. This season, he became the primary target of opposing defenses and posted career bests in receptions and receiving yards before closing the 2018 campaign with three consecutive 200-yard outings. Yinger finished this season with 1,340 rushing yards (8th among FCS runners) and 1,730 all-purpose yards (7th among FCS all-purpose runners). He finished his Dayton career with a program-record 3,757 rushing yards and 4,468 all-purpose yards.

Yinger highlights a group of 10 PFL student-athletes to earn their second, third or fourth First-Team Academic All-PFL honor this season. The trio of three-time first-team honorees includes San Diego redshirt senior Anthony Lawrence, Drake senior defensive lineman Nathan Clayberg and Dayton senior defensive back David Leisring.

The seven first-team honorees earning their second Academic-All-PFL honor this season are Drake junior defensive lineman Jacob Bacon, San Diego redshirt junior offensive lineman Jake Michaels, Dayton senior defensive lineman Isaac Sexton, Dayton redshirt sophomore defensive back Tim Simon, San Diego redshirt senior defensive lineman Connor Spencer, and Stetson redshirt sophomore kicker Jonny Messina.

The Academic All-PFL teams are a complement to the Academic All-America™ program presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Eight PFL student-athletes were named to their respective Academic All-District Teams® this fall.

Pioneer Football League athletic directors established the Academic All-PFL squads in 1993 as a way to recognize the league’s outstanding student-athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-PFL consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and reached their second season both athletically and academically at his current institution.


2018 Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team

(as selected by PFL athletics communications directors)
Student-Athlete School Class. Pos GPA Major (Minor)
Jacob Bacon (1) Drake Jr. OL 3.94 Actuarial Science & Finance
Dane Cordell Jacksonville RSo. OL 3.88 Accounting
Steven Doran Drake Sr. WR 3.40 Physics & Astronomy
Nic Duch (2) Jacksonville RSr. WR 3.89 Finance
Isaiah Kent-Schneider Drake Sr. OL 3.98 Environmental Science & Secondary Education
Anthony Lawrence (3x, 1) San Diego RSr. QB 3.61 Accountancy
Will Marty (2) Butler RSr. QB 3.55 Marketing
Jake Michaels (1) San Diego RJr. OL 3.66 Biology
Eric Rentschler (2) Valparaiso Sr. OL 3.74 Computer Engineering
Brad Sznajder Butler RJr. RB 3.89 Finance
Tucker Yinger (4x, 1) Dayton RSr. RB 3.81 Mechanical Engineering
Nathan Clayberg (3x, 1) Drake Sr. DL 3.76
Accounting & Finance
Master of Business Administration
David Leisring (3x, 1) Dayton Sr. DB 3.74 Finance
Jack Michael San Diego RJr. DB 3.80 Accountancy & Finance
Carter Raleigh Butler Sr. LB 3.70 Finance
Luke Sennett Butler RJr. DB 3.66 Finance
Kieran Severa Drake Sr. LB 3.55 Health Sciences-Clinical
Isaac Sexton (1) Dayton Sr. DL 3.94 Chemical Engineering
Tim Simon (1) Dayton RSo. DB 3.81 Mechanical Engineering
Connor Spencer (1) San Diego RSr. DL 3.81 Electrical Engineering
Regis Steighner Stetson RJr. DL 3.93 Economics
Mike Wheeler Valparaiso Sr. LB 3.80 Economics
Drew Bevelhimer Butler Jr. K 3.47 Spanish
Jonny Messina (1) Stetson RSo. K 3.73 Health Science
Matt Tunnacliffe Dayton Sr. LS 3.49 Finance & Entrepreneurship
Notes in parentheses: 3x – player is a three-time first-team Academic All-PFL selection; 1-was a first-team selection in 2017; 2-was a second-team selection in 2017.


2018 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Second Team

Student-Athlete School Class Pos. GPA Major (Minor)
Brad Alexander Stetson So. OL 3.79 History
Ben Gauthier Dayton Sr. OL 3.32 Adolescence To Young Adult Education
(Integrated Social Studies Concentration)
Peter Greubel Stetson So. OL 3.96 Public Health
Jarin Higginbotham Morehead State Sr. WR 3.38 Exercise Science
Colin McGovern Stetson Sr. QB 3.36 Sport Business
Brandon Micale San Diego So. FB 3.97 Undeclared
Nathan Sames Morehead State Sr. WR 3.43 Engineering Technology Design
Dakota Sneed Butler RSr. OL 3.48 Science, Technology and Society
Chris Tremblay Jacksonville Jr. OL 3.53 Engineering, Dual Degree
Richie Warfield Dayton RFr. RB 3.97 Marketing
Dan Wittekind Marist Jr. OL 3.36 Communication
Jacob Bergstrom San Diego RSo. DL 3.60 Finance
Anthony Best Dayton RFr. LB 3.97 Engineering
Grant Dixon Marist RSo. LB 3.62 Business Administration
Jack Griffith Marist RSo. DB 3.75 Communication
Sayyid Kanu Morehead State Sr. DB 3.33 Radiology
Andrew McElroy Marist RJr. DB 3.62 Business Administration
Michael Perera Jacksonville RJr. LB 3.82 Finance
Peter Read Drake Sr. DL 3.84 Health Sciences-Clinical
Nick Surges Dayton RSr. DL 3.35 Finance
Terry Wallen Drake Sr. DB 3.60 Finance
Jacob Wittwer San Diego RSr. DL 3.57 Political Science/English
Kyle Butz Dayton RSo. RS 3.49 Sport Management
Dimitrios Latsonas Valparaiso Jr. K 3.35 Physical Education Teaching
Michael Matthews Davidson Sr. K 3.36 Biology


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