UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State football team continued to excel in the classroom during the 2015 fall semester with a record 56 squad members earning at least a 3.0 grade-point average. This marks the fifth consecutive semester (including summer sessions) that the Nittany Lions have had more than 50 student-athletes with a 3.0 GPA or better.The 56 Nittany Lions with a 3.0 GPA or higher surpasses the mark of 55 set by the 2008 fall semester for the most 3.0 students in a semester in football program history.A total of 23 Nittany Lions posted a 3.5 GPA or higher in the fall semester, with 19 earning Dean's List recognition for having 3.5 GPA or higher with 12 credits earned in undergraduate work. The Nittany Lion freshmen were impressive in the fall semester with 14 posting a 3.0 or higher. Overall, 51 football student-athletes own a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher after the fall semester, with 21 posting a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher."Our guys continue to work hard in the classroom each and every semester and we couldn't be more proud of their accomplishments," Head Coach James Franklin said. "Since our arrival, we have had at least 50 guys with 3.0 GPAs in five consecutive semesters. It just shows that our young men have taken the opportunity given to them here at Penn State very seriously and want to have a well-rounded experience. I also want to give a special shout out to Brendan Brosnan, Kevin Reihner and Tyler Yazujian for having perfect 4.0 GPAs this past semester."The fall semester also saw 45 student-athletes improve their cumulative GPA since the 2015 spring semester. There were 43 Nittany Lions that earned all A's and B's this past semester. Additionally, 22 Nittany Lions earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition last fall.CoSIDA Academic All-America second team selection Tyler Yazujian notched a perfect 4.0 in the fall semester to bring his cumulative GPA to an impressive 3.88 in security risk analysis. Offensive linemen Brendan Brosnan and Kevin Reihner also earned perfect 4.0 GPAs in the fall semester.Among the Nittany Lions to earn a semester with a 3.5 GPA or higher in the fall semester were: Brosnan, Reihner, Yazujian, linebacker Matt Baney, wide receiver Gordon Bentley, safety Joe Berg, kicker Nick Boumerhi, linebacker Manny Bowen, linebacker Jordan Dudas, defensive end Will Eikenberry, quarterback Bill Fessler, offensive lineman Evan Galimberti, wide receiver Gregg Garrity, punter Chris Gulla, linebacker Ben Kline, long snapper Zach Ladonis, center Angelo Mangiro, punter Daniel Pasquariello, cornerback John Reid, running back Andre Robinson, fullback Dom Salomone, fullback Brandon Smith and offensive lineman Charlie Shuman.The outstanding academic performance is the latest success in a long line of academic achievement for members of the Penn State football program, who consistently are at or near the top nationally in academic success:
- A Big Ten Conference-high 17 members of the Penn State football team had earned their degrees prior to the Nittany Lions' appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl to rank tied for 11th among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions;
- Penn State's all-time total of 64 Academic All-America football honorees ranks second among all FBS institutions;
- The Nittany Lions' 19 Academic All-American selections over the past 10 seasons (16 first team) lead the nation;
- The Penn State football team has had at least one first-team Academic All-American in seven of the past 10 seasons;
- The Nittany Lions have 19 overall first-team selections since 2002;
- A total of 370 of Penn State football student-athletes, including 22 in 2015, have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.