The Academic All-America Team Welcomes SOU’s Spencer Kuffel
ASHLAND, Ore. — This year, the Academic All-American team welcomes another Southern Oregon football player into their fold. The College Sports Communicators recently announced Spencer Kuffel’s inclusion in the team. He thus became the fifth football player in Oregon history to be nominated and accepted into the team.
His selection for the All-Frontier first team came with merit. As an interdisciplinary studies major, his cumulative GPA of 3.59 and his performance on the field made this possible. Thus, as a sophomore defensive back, he led the conference with two interception returns for touchdowns and six total interceptions. His interception total tied him at number three on the national leaderboard. This also made him the first Raider since 2015 to log more than five interceptions in a season.
He donned the Raiders’ jersey in 2021 and scored his first touchdown on a 40-yard return in October 2021. This was in the SOU versus MSU-Northern game, with an SOU 42-13 win. His second and historic 42-yard return allowed the Raiders a victory upset of 31-16 over No. 5 College of Idaho.
He was one of twenty-five football players who were identified at the NAIA level and received top honors from the CSC. This was for his top performance on the field as well as in the classroom. It secured him a spot on the Academic All-American team as an Academic All-Frontier team member and an NAIA Scholar Athlete.
As a Tigard High School graduate, he has been a consistent starting safety at SOU since 2022. His record of 37 tackles gave the Raiders five out of six wins. On his watch, he allowed only 19 points per game. This was the 22-best in the country and a Fontier lead of 17.6 in conference games.
The Academic All-American Team
First of all, the College Sports Communicators (CSC) selects members of the team from nominees. Each college has to nominate its most talented athletes based on outstanding athletic and academic performance. With his 3.59 GPA and excellent performance on the field, Spencer Kuffel was thus welcomed onto the team.
The Academic All-American Team has awarded student-athletes such as Kuffel prestigious spots since 1952. This makes him one of 40,000 worthy student-athletes since then. It is a premier award and the longest run for athletic and academic performance. It covers championship college sports at Canadian institutions, two-year colleges, the NAIA, and all NCAA levels across different sport categories.
In this instance, Kuffel was awarded this prestigious position in the football category as an NAIA team member.
The Selection Process for the Academic All-American Team
In order to be selected for the Academic All-American team, there are a few criteria. The fact that Spencer Kuffel is on the team indicates that he went through the process. As a nominee, he met the following criteria:
- He has both academic and athletic standing at SOU as an undergraduate, with interdisciplinary studies as his major.
- As part of the requirements, his institution clearly nominated him based on his performance as a student and athlete.
- This was not difficult, as he has a 3.59 grade point average (the required GPA for the Academic All-American team is 3.50 out of 4.00).
- He was one of the eight football nominees in the football category.
The CSC members of the football division of the Academic All-American team vote for the nominees based on these criteria. The members review the submissions and decide which of the athletes qualify.
Spencer Kuffel met the standards as well as the Academic All-American team’s criteria. He further fills this prestigious spot in 2024 as part of Oregon history too.