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Five Gamecocks Named to Academic All-District Football Team
Football  . 

Five Gamecocks Named to Academic All-District Football Team

Five University of South Carolina student-athletes have been named to the 2023 Academic All-District football team, selected by College Sports Communicators (CSC) for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.

To be considered for Academic All-District, the student-athlete must hold at least a 3.50 grade point average and have either appeared in 90 percent or started 66 percent of the games played during the 2023 season.

Those Gamecocks to earn Academic All-District honors in 2023 include Stone Blanton, Mitch Jeter, Tyreek Johnson, Trey Knox and Keenan Nelson Jr.. Blanton, Jeter and Knox will advance to the national ballot to be voted on by CSC members. First-, second- and third-team Academic All-America honorees will be announced January 23, 2024.

Blanton is a 6-2, 224-pound sophomore linebacker. The Jackson, Miss., native was a member of the 2022-23 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll. He is undeclared on his major field of study. He started all 12 games in 2023 and was fifth on the team with 52 tackles.

Jeter, a 5-10, 194-pound senior placekicker from Salisbury, N.C., graduated on Monday with a degree in biological sciences. He was recognized with football’s 2022 Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, was the 2022 co-Harold White GPA Award winner for special teams and has been a regular on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He led the Gamecocks in scoring with 69 points while converting 12-of-14 field goals and 33-of-34 extra points in 2023, while also handling the kickoff duties.

Johnson, a 6-3, 270-pound EDGE rusher earned an undergraduate degree in integrated information technology and is working towards a master’s degree in health information technology. He was a member of the 2023 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, wa a 2023 co-winner of the President’s Outstanding Student-Athlete Award and has been on the SEC Academic Honor Roll five times. He appeared in 11 games, starting four in 2023, recording 16 tackles including 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Knox, a 6-5, 237-pound tight end from Murfreesboro, Tenn., earned an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Arkansas before coming to Columbia in 2023. He was a three-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll at Arkansas. He started all 10 games in which he appeared in 2023, ranking second on the team with 37 receptions for 312 yards with a pair of touchdowns while earning second-team All-SEC honors from the league’s coaches.

Nelson Jr., is a 6-1, 195-pound redshirt freshman defensive back. The Philadelphia, Pa. product is a sport and entertainment management major. He appeared in 11 games including three starts in 2023. He was credited with nine tackles and blocked a punt which he returned for a touchdown in the win over Vanderbilt.