GREENSBORO, N.C. – Running back Tyler Cierski, defensive lineman A.J. Francis, offensive linemen Bennett Fulper and defensive back Dexter McDougle were among 52 student-athletes named Wednesday to the 2011 Academic All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team.
Francis was selected for the third time and Fulper made it for the second straight season. Cierski and McDougle are first-time honorees.
To be eligible for consideration for Academic All-ACC, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade-point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.
Marylands four selections were tied for fourth-most in the league with Georgia Tech. Duke led the way with 18. Clemson and Wake Forest had five apiece.
Francis played in all 12 games (four starts) at defensive tackle last season. He posted 31 tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He also recovered one fumble and had one pass breakup. The junior has played in each of the last 37 games, including 23 starts.
Fulper, a junior, was one of the leaders of the offensive line. The 2011 Academic All-America nominee started the first 10 games at center before an injury sidelined him for the final two. He helped the Terps post the third-most rushing yards in the league (169.3 yards per game) and allow the fourth-fewest sacks (1.4 pg).
Cierski played in all 12 games as the No. 1 fullback and a special teams performer. The true freshman was a regular on the kickoff return and punt coverage teams.
McDougle started all 12 games at cornerback. The sophomore led the team with six pass breakups and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. He ranked tied for eighth in the ACC and tied for 70th nationally in picks (0.25 pg), and tied for 15th in the conference in pass breakups (0.75 pg).
Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand and defensive back Jeremiah Johnson were also nominated for Academic All-ACC honors.