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Five Cardinal football players cited for academics

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 9:08 pm

The Ball State football team has garnered a lot of attention for its success on the gridiron over recent seasons. That level of dedication and standard has carried over into the classroom, as well.

The Mid-American Conference announced its Academic All-MAC squad on Thursday and five Cardinal players were honored as members.

Zane Fakes, Scott Kovanda, Tony Martin, Nick Miles and Jacob Richard were each recognized.

The five selections for Ball State were the third most of the 13 MAC schools which compete in football.

Fakes is an exercise science major with a 3.687 cumulative grade-point average on Ball State's 4.0 scale, will be a senior tight end for the Cardinals in 2013.

He started 10 games in 2012 and played in all 13 contests. Fakes managed 57 catches for 461 yards and five touchdowns for the Cardinals last season. Fakes earned honorable mention on the 2011 Academic All-MAC team.

Kovanda was a senior on the 2012 team, managed a 3.884 GPA as a finance major and graduated in December.

He was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award in 2012, which goes to the nation's most outstanding punter. He competed in the NFLPA College All-Star Game and has been invited to the NFL Combine in April.

Kovanda punted 47 times for 1,892 yards and a 40.3 average in 2012. Kovanda earned Academic All-MAC honors for the third time in his career in 2012.

Martin owns a 3.357 GPA as a physical education major at Ball State. He started 10 games for the Cardinals and ranked second on the team with 90 tackles. Martin earned honorable mention on the Academic All-MAC team in 2011.

Milesowns a 3.44 GPA as a business major, started all 13 games for the Cardinals last season. He managed a career high 11 tackles at Army and tied that mark at Toledo.

Miles will be a junior for the Cardinals in 2013.

Richard was a redshirt freshman for the Cardinals in 2012, owns a 4.0 GPA as a business major. He played in 11 games with four starts for Ball State last fall.

He was part of an offensive line that blocked for Jahwan Edwards' 1,410 rushing yards, which was the third highest single-season total in school history. He also helped protect quarterback Keith Wenning, who set a school record with 301 completions and threw for the third best single season passing yards total in Ball State history with 3,095.