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January 25, 2014

Four named Academic All-MAC

CLEVELAND - Kent State's Matt Dellinger, Jordan Italiano, Anthony Meray and Nate Vance were all named to the Academic All-Mid-American Conference Football Team, as announced by the conference office Friday. The Golden Flashes' four selections tied for the second most among the MAC's 13 teams and marked the fourth straight season of at least three Kent State student-athletes on the academic all-conference team. Chad Bushley, Chris Humphrey and Joe Ziccardi all earned Honorable Mention.

Meray, a junior running back from Spanaway, Wash., becomes a two-time selection. An exercise specialist major, he carries a 3.82 grade point average. Meray ran for 248 yards and a touchdown this past season. In the spring, he earned the Leo Strang Award for carrying the highest GPA among the team's upperclassmen.

Dellinger, a sophomore linebacker, carries a 3.72 GPA as an applied conflict management major. The Clarkston, Mich., native finished second on the team with 77 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.
Italiano, a sophomore safety, also earned Academic All-America honors this season, carrying a 3.94 as a chemistry/pre-med major. He led the Flashes with 41 solo tackles and finished third on the team with 76 total tackles.

Vance, a junior defensive linemen, carries a 3.66 GPA as a sports administration major. In 2013, the Stow, Ohio, native tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks and totaled 46 tackles. Last season, he earned Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention.

Humphrey and Bushley each repeated as Academic All-MAC Honorable Mention selections, while Ziccardi made his first appearance.

The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics. The team was voted on by faculty athletic representatives at MAC institutions. A total of 41 student-athletes from 13 football programs were named to the 2013 team. In order to be eligible for the Academic All-MAC team, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.20 grade point average and participate in more than 50 percent of the team's games that year. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year at a school are not eligible. The number of honorees on the Academic All-MAC team is equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 33% of the number of nominees, whichever is greater.

Kent State will announce its incoming players for the 2014 season on Wednesday, Feb. 5, during National Signing Day.

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