Senior I-back Rex Burkhead and senior linebacker Sean Fisher were named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I football team on Thursday, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Both players are repeat honorees on the academic All-America team.
Burkhead was a first-team selection for the second consecutive year, while Fisher earned second-team honors for the second straight year. With its two Academic All-Americans, Nebraska was one of only eight schools to have two or more players on the Division I team. Northern Illinois had three players honored, while Nebraska was one of seven schools with two players selected.
The selection of Burkhead and Fisher allowed Nebraska to reach an unprecedented milestone. Burkhead and Fisher become Nebraska’s 300th and 301st all-time Academic All-Americans across all sports, making Nebraska the first school across all divisions to reach that milestone. Notre Dame is second with 227 Academic All-Americans all-time. No other school has reached 200 Academic All-Americans.
In football alone, Nebraska now has a nation-leading 68 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America selections in football, including 15 double winners. Burkhead’s first-team selection marks the second straight year Nebraska has had a two-time first-team academic All-American, joining Austin Cassidy who achieved that status in 2010 and 2011. Overall, Nebraska increased its total to 104 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans when including 36 second- or third-team honorees. Notre Dame is second in football Academic All-Americans with 58.
Burkhead carries a 3.448 cumulative grade-point average in history and is scheduled to graduate next week, completing his undergraduate work in just 3 ½ years. Burkhead ranks fifth in Nebraska history with more than 3,200 career rushing yards. Burkhead is the second running back in school history to be a two-time first-team Academic All-American, joining fullback Joel Makovicka who accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998.
Fisher continues to excel as one of the nation's top student-athletes. A graduate of Millard North High School, Fisher carries a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in business administration/pre-medicine. On the field, Fisher was a key element for the Husker defense in 2012, registering 47 tackles in his senior season. As a two-time second-team selection, Fisher is one of 26 Husker football players who have earned Academic All-America honors in multiple years.
Burkhead and Fisher were two of four Nebraska players to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District VII honors in November, earning a spot on the national ballot. Offensive guard Spencer Long and tight end Jake Long also earned all-district honors and Nebraska's four academic all-district picks were second in the nation, and tied for first among FBS schools.
The two CoSIDA Academic All-America selections in 2012 give Nebraska eight football Academic All-Americans in Head Coach Bo Pelini's first five seasons. In addition to Burkhead and Fisher’s selections, receiver Todd Peterson and linebacker Tyler Wortman were second-team selections in 2008, while Cassidy was a first-team pick in both 2010 and 2011.