Eastern New Mexico University senior free safety Ty Touchstone has been voted the College Division Football Academic All-America of the Year by the All-America selection committee of the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Touchstone, a graduate of Lubbock Monterey, also earned first-team ESPN The Magazine academic All-America honors for the second consecutive season. He was an honorable mention selection as a sophomore.
“Ty’s been a great kid to coach,” said ENMU defensive coordinator Mark Ribaudo, who will take over head coaching duties for the Greyhounds in January. “Obviously he’s extremely intelligent. He’s also very coachable, and he’s a great player.
“That’s an incredible combination. That’s the kind of player we want.”
Touchstone, who owns a 4.0 grade point average in business administration and computer information systems, was one of six repeat selections on the 24-man first team. Another 24 players earned second-team status.
He was the only player from the Lone Star Conference honored on this year’s team, and one of just two selected last year. The college division includes players in NCAA Division II and Division III and the NAIA.
Nominees must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, be either a starter or key reserve for their teams and have been at their current school for at least a year.
“Ty is a fine example of a student-athlete, and he’s really represented Eastern New Mexico well,” ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire said. “He’s certainly made the most of his college experience.”
Touchstone played in all 43 of his games in four years at Eastern, with 34 starts. He was in on 290 tackles, including 187 unassisted stops, and had eight pass interceptions.
He blocked three field goals this season, all coming in the fourth quarter of games the Greyhounds went on to win.
Bellum, Weeks honored — Seniors Anna Bellum and Jessica Weeks represented ENMU on the LSC South Division all-academic squad, announced Wednesday by the conference office in Richardson, Texas.
Bellum, an outside hitter, and Weeks, a libero, were previously selected to the CoSIDA academic all-district college division volleyball team. Bellum has a 3.90 GPA in Spanish while Weeks owns a 3.86 GPA as a double-major in economics and finance.
Division champion Abilene Christian placed three players on the first team — junior outside hitter Michelle Bernhardt, junior setter Lindsey Martin and senior libero Kellen Morrow — while Angelo State senior setter Amber Nelson rounded out the squad. Morrow was chosen the South’s academic player of the year.
Four other Zias were accorded all-academic honorable mention in the South — senior outside hitter Kelley McGinty, sophomore outside hitter Kristen Van Wettering, senior setter Margie Goble and junior defensive specialist Olivia Boan.