Chattanooga Football Among National Leaders Academically

The Chattanooga Mocs registered six on the COSIDA Academic All-District team announced Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America. The organization’s prized program has long honored academic prowess. The Mocs were selected amongst a group of FBS and FCS programs covering the states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

There were three on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Drayton Arnold, running back Ailym Ford and offensive lineman Cole Strange represented the offense. Linebackers Rashun Freeman and Christian Snyder joined safety Jerrell Lawson for the defense. Six was second only to Stanford’s seven nationally.

“Extremely proud,” Coach Rusty Wright shared when he heard the news. “All of these guys have contributed to our success on the field and showing you can excel in all phases of collegiate life is a definite point of pride. When your program is mentioned academically with Stanford you know your kids are doing something special.

“I appreciate their efforts as well as our coaching and support staff emphasizing how important the classroom is to their future.”

All six started for the Mocs during the pandemic-shortened campaign. With some teams not playing or having truncated seasons like Chattanooga, the criteria changed to career statistics along with a minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA.

Six is a school record for Academic All-District honors. The Mocs posted two each in 2012 (Adam Miller/Davis Tull), 2014 (Tull/Nick Pollard), 2018 (Freeman/Bryce Nunnelly) and 2019 (Lawson/Nunnelly). Freeman and Lawson are the fifth and sixth Mocs to earn multiple All-District mentions. They join Miller (2011, 2012), Tull (2012, 2013 & 2014), Craine (2015, 2016) and Nunnelly (2018, 2019).

The six now move on to the national ballot for first and second team consideration for Academic All-America honors. The last COSIDA Academic All-American was Nunnelly making the second team in 2019. There have been five total with Tull earning first team in 2013 and 2014 while Craine was second team in 2015 and first in 2016.

The Chattanooga Mocs are readying for the 2021 fall campaign. Home games await hosting Austin Peay, Western Carolina, ETSU, Furman and The Citadel. It opens on Thursday, Sept. 2, with a visit from the Governors. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.