Hobart College senior offensive lineman Jarrid Blades and junior linebacker Nick Zapp were named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District Football first team. Both players advance to the national Capital One Academic All-America ballot.
A political science major, Blades is a three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection. The Dean's List student is a Chimera, the Hobart junior class honor society, and a Druid, the senior class honor society. Blades started the football team's annual fundraiser, Touchdowns and Tackles for Happiness, which has raised more than $5,000 for the Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association.
On the field, Blades has played in all seven games this season. Behind a veteran line, the Statesmen lead the Liberty League in total offense (419.4 yds/g), averaging 222.0 yards rushing (28th in the nation) and 197.4 yards passing. Blades and his fellow linemen have allowed a league-low eight sacks (1.1/g) this season. They have also played a key role in the team's success on third down. Hobart has converted 54.7 percent of its third down tries, the best success rate in the Liberty League and well ahead of the school's season record (45% in 2009). Blades has played in 23 career games.
A history major and environmental studies minor, Zapp is a two-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree. The Dean's List student is a member of the Orange Key Society, the Hobart sophomore class honor society, and a Chimera. A Hale Scholar and Hobart Deans Scholar, Zapp received the 2010 Druid Award for Character.
A backup inside linebacker, Zapp has played in six of seven games this season, recording 15 tackles. He logged a season-high five stops in a 41-24 win at Union and repeated the performance in a 42-14 win over Merchant Marine. In 22 career games, Zapp has 36 tackles, one pass break up, and a half tackle for a loss.
Hobart is 6-1 overall heading into its regular season finale at Rochester. The Statesmen are 4-1 in the Liberty League and need a win over the Yellowjackets to earn a share of the conference championship and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The game will be the fifth Centennial Cup game, commemorating the 100th gridiron meeting between Hobart and Rochester. The all-time series is tied 48-48-7.
To earn a spot on the Academic All-District teams, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average, be a starter or significant reserve, and be at least a sophomore academically. The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) selects All-District teams from eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. First-team All-District honorees advance to the Academic All-America Team ballot, where first, second and third team All-American honorees will be selected later this month.