Tusculum College tight end Jarrell NeSmith will be playing in the 2010 Valero Cactus Bowl, the NCAA Division II All-Star Game, this Friday night, at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas. Kickoff is slated for 7:35 p.m. (EST).
NeSmith will be playing on the West All-Star squad and will be the starting tight end.
The game will be featured on Fox College Sports Channel 617 on DirecTV and will also be webcast on www.cactusbowl.org.
NeSmith, a 6-2, 225-pound native from Russellville, Ala., has closed out one of the most decorated football careers in Tusculum history, both on and off the field. NeSmith graduated from Tusculum last month as a Pre-Medicine major with a 3.87 cumulative grade point average. He is a member of the Tusculum President’s List, Dean’s List, Charles Oliver Gray List, South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the TC Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
On the field, NeSmith was a two-time All-SAC First Team selection, including this year where he led the league in receiving yards per game, averaging 67.8 yards per contest. He has posted 56 catches for 678 yards (5th in TC history) and three touchdowns. His 5.6 catches per game average is tied for the 43rd best in the nation. He was also named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Super Region 2 First Team for a second straight year and was recently selected to the Associated Press Little All-America Team.
He earned All-America honors in 2008 from three organizations as he posted 67 receptions for 635 yards and seven touchdowns and was also an All-Conference and All-Region selection.
NeSmith is a two-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America®, including this year where he was a First Team selection. He becomes only the fourth Tusculum student-athlete to garner First Team recognition and also becomes only the second Pioneer to be a two-time Academic All-American®. He was named to the Academic All-America® Second Team last year.
NeSmith was named the SAC Scholar Athlete for Football as NeSmith becomes the first three-time recipient of the award in conference history. It also marked the fifth straight year that a Tusculum player has earned SAC Scholar Athlete Football honors and seventh in the last eight seasons.
NeSmith has wrapped up his career with 158 receptions (3rd in TC history) for 1,670 yards (4th in TC history), both school records for a tight end.
Last month, he was named to the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Team and was one of only 16 national finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. NeSmith was the only NCAA Division II player amongst the honorees that included Campbell Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida and fellow Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy of Texas.
NeSmith was selected as the 2008-09 recipient SAC Presidents Award, becoming only the second football player in the history of the award to earn the conference’s most prestigious honor. He was also a Southeast Region representative for the 2008-09 Division II Commissioner’s Scholar Athlete Award and was a national semifinalist for the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team.