November 18, 2021
Quarterback Desmond Ridder is a two-time honoree for the academic honor presented by CoSIDA
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati football team placed a school-record six players on the Academic All-District First Team presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
No FBS team in the country had more honorees than the Bearcats, which tied for the most with Kentucky. The six honorees also double Cincinnati’s previous high of three set in 2006.
Joining senior quarterback Desmond Ridder, who captured the honor for a second straight year, were senior wide receiver Alec Pierce, junior offensive lineman Lorenz Metz, senior linebacker Wilson Huber, senior safety Bryan Cook and junior cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.
The 2020-21 Academic All-District® Football Teams recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field or court and in the classroom. First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot.
Honorees must have at least a 3.3 GPA and be a major contributor to their teams on the field.
Ridder is the winningest quarterback among active FBS players and the school record holder in touchdowns (79). He has totaled 27 touchdowns to lead Cincinnati to a 10-0 start in and the highest ranking (No. 2) in school history in 2021. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration in 2020.
Pierce is set to earn his degree in mechanical engineering in three-and-a-half years. He leads UC in receptions (37) and receiving yards (627) to go along with three touchdowns.
Metz, an industrial management major, has started eight games at left guard this season and has 21 starts in his career. He has helped pave the way and protect an offense that ranks ninth in the country in scoring (39.2 ppg).
Huber already has a finance degree and is working on his master’s degree. He has played in every game, making 11 tackles and two TFLs.
Cook, a digital media collaborative major, has been a force at safety this season, making 64 tackles and registering six PBUs.
Gardner, a First Team All-American in 2020, is majoring in criminal justice. He has never allowed a touchdown pass in his career and is a leader of the nation’s top pass defense. He has three interceptions in 2021.
Cincinnati has won five of the last six football AAC Football Academic Excellence Awards and posted school-record GPA (3.212) in spring 2021.
Cincinnati hosts SMU on Saturday in its last home game of the 2021 regular season. The game will begin at 3:30 p.m. EST and air on ESPN.
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