San Diego’s Max Michaels named PFL Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
by Cody Bush, PFL Media Relations

SAINT LOUIS, Mo.– San Diego senior nickelback Max Michaels was named the 2017 Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Wednesday, leading a group of 50 student-athletes named to the 25th annual Academic All-PFL Teams, as selected by the league’s athletic communications directors.

Michaels, of Poway, California, is majoring in accountancy at the University of San Diego and has posted a 3.95 grade-point average during his academic career. In addition to being named the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he earned his third consecutive First-Team Academic All-PFL selection

The College Sports Information Directors of America recognized Michaels as a Second-Team Academic All-American™ in 2016 and he is an Academic All-America nominee again in 2017 after being named a CoSIDA Academic All-District® selection for the second consecutive year. In addition, the National Football Foundation named Michaels a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy®.

On the field, Michaels finished the regular season leading USD in tackles as the Toreros reached the Division I Football Championship for a third consecutive season and won their first-round contest for a second-straight year. He currently has 69 stops in 12 games this season and has eight tackles for loss. Michaels also has four passes defensed this season, including an interception. He has helped pace a San Diego defensive unit that is ranked second among FCS programs in scoring defense, second in red zone defense and fifth in rushing defense.

A group of four student-athletes have joined Michaels as three-time Academic All-PFL honorees. Dayton senior quarterback Alex Jeske, Dayton senior running back Tucker Yinger and Dayton redshirt senior linebacker Jack Crain.

In addition, four student-athletes appear as first-team honorees for a second consecutive year: San Diego junior quarterback Anthony Lawrence; Drake senior defensive tackle Nathan Clayberg; Drake fifth-year defensive end Tanner Evans and Dayton junior safety David Leisring.

The Academic All-PFL teams are a complement to the Academic All-America™ program presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Fifteen 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.


2017 Academic All-Pioneer Football League First Team

(as selected by PFL athletics communications directors)
Student-Athlete School Class. Pos GPA Major (Minor)
Jamal Adjamah Jacksonville Sr. RB 3.30 Kinesiology
Jacob Bacon Drake So. OL 3.93 Actuarial Science
Alex Jeske (3x, 1) Dayton Sr. QB 3.76 Finance
Duvante Lane (2) Butler RSr. RB 3.52 Middle & Secondary Education
Anthony Lawrence (1) San Diego Jr. QB 3.67 Accountancy
Jake Michaels San Diego So. OL 3.52 Biology
Ethan Pierson Campbell RJr. OL 3.77 Kinesiology/Physical Therapy
Justin Priest (2) San Diego Sr. WR 3.40 Finance
Brock Reichardt Drake Sr. RB 3.80 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Dan Wittekind Marist So. OL 3.55 Communication
Tucker Yinger (3x, 1) Dayton Sr. RB 3.81 Mechanical Engineering
Chad Burdo (2) Butler RSr. DL 3.77 Finance
Nathan Clayberg (1) Drake Sr. DT 3.82 Finance & Accounting
Jack Crain (3x, 1) Dayton RSr. LB 3.87 Accounting & Finance
Tanner Evans (1) Drake 5th DE 3.79 Finance & Politics
David Leisring (1) Dayton Jr. SAF 3.94 Finance
Max Michaels (3x, 1) San Diego Sr. NB 3.95 Accountancy
Isaac Sexton Dayton So. DT 3.96 Chemical Engineering
Tim Simon Dayton So. SAF 3.82 Mechanical Engineering
Connor Spencer (2) San Diego Jr. DT 3.78 Electrical Engineering
Richard Stanzione Stetson So. LB 3.79 Physics
Trevor Tufano Jacksonville So. LB 3.74 Undeclared
Mitchell Brown (2) Campbell Sr. K 3.62 Biology/Pre-Medicine
Jack Flatau San Diego Sr. P/PK 3.45 Communication Studies
Jonny Messina Stetson RFr. K 3.87 Integrative Health Sciences
Notes in parentheses: 3x – player is a three-time first-team Academic All-PFL selection; 1-was a first-team selection in 2016; 2-was a second-team selection in 2016.

2017 Academic All-Pioneer Football League Second Team

Student-Athlete School Class Pos. GPA Major (Minor)
Cord Collier Butler RSr. TE 3.89 Finance & Management/Information Systems
Lawrence Dickens Marist Sr. WR 3.36 Business Administration/Finance
Nic Duch Jacksonville RJr. TE/WR 3.86 Finance
Will Marty Butler RJr. QB 3.54 Finance/Marketing
Jarrett Morgan Valparaiso Sr. RB 3.42 Sports Management
Connor Ostrander Drake Sr. TE 3.68 Finance & Accounting
Eric Rentschler Valparaiso Jr. OL 3.86 Computer Engineering
Jordan Sabo Stetson Sr. WR 3.60 Molecular Biology
Jacob Sullivan Stetson RFr. OL 3.91 Biology
Jake Sutherland Morehead State Sr. TE 3.70 Exercise Science
Michael Wooten Campbell RSo. TE 3.58 Kinesiology/Physical Therapy
Mike Cerone Butler RJr. DB 3.54 Risk Management & Insurance
Grant Dixon Marist RFr. LB 3.81 Business Administration/Finance
Griffin Garland Jacksonville Sr. DB 3.36 Economics
Sayyid Kanu Morehead State Jr. SAF 3.58 Business
Mike Maize Drake 5th LB 3.50 Elementary Education
Andrew McElroy Marist RSo. DB 3.63 Criminal Justice
Isaak Newhouse Butler Sr. DB 3.56 Accounting and Finance
Kishan Patel San Diego Sr. CB 3.42 International Business
Michael Perera Jacksonville RSo. LB 3.87 Finance
Peter Read Drake Sr. DT 3.84 Health Science
Seth Thompson Marist So. DB 3.67 Biomedical Sciences
Bradley Boone Morehead State RSo. P 3.51 Health & Physical Education
Joe Giglio Marist RJr. K 3.43 Business Administration/Finance
Patrick Murray San Diego Sr. K 3.42 Real Estate