Indiana State’s Jonas Griffith has been named a Second Team Preseason All-American as HERO Sports unveiled its Preseason All-American Teams Thursday.
Griffith started in 11 games during his redshirt junior season at linebacker, leading the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 132 tackles, including 81 unassisted stops. He was tops in the nation with 7.4 solo tackles per game and fifth with 12 tackles per game.
In total, the Louisville native recorded 9.5 tackles-for-loss for 27 yards including 3.5 sacks. He recorded double-digit stops in eight games while making a season high 18 stops in back-to-back games against South Dakota State and Missouri State.
Griffith earned All-American status from three different publications following the 2018 campaign after leading the Sycamores and ranking fifth nationally in tackles.
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In other football news:
• Cook Stadium to install turf — Rose-Hulman is installing a new synthetic turf football field in Cook Stadium for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.
The new synthetic turf field is an important project that will help keep Rose-Hulman competitive, provide more flexibility for practices, and bring in additional revenue.
The synthetic turf field will have a wide variety of potential uses throughout the year, including but not limited to: football games and practices; baseball, soccer and softball varsity practices when weather and field conditions require; campus intramural and club sport events; academic projects; and other future possibilities.
The synthetic turf field will allow revenue-generating camps onto campus that have been previously unavailable due to the wear on the natural grass surface. Neither the football team nor other teams could previously use the field for practice because grass must be maintained for competition usage.
The synthetic turf field is also seen as an asset that will help Rose-Hulman continue to attract outstanding student-athletes to the football program. For the first time, the football program will be able to practice on its competition field.
The first game on the new synthetic turf field is scheduled for Sept. 7, when the Engineers host NCAA Division III national power Mount Union. A celebratory unveiling of the new field will be held during Homecoming weekend on Oct. 5.
• Wright earns academic honor — Indiana State catcher Max Wright made history Thursday when the junior was named a 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-American. It marks the first Academic All-American honor in program history for the Sycamores. Wright became just the seventh Academic All-District award winner for the Sycamores earlier in May and the first since 2011.
Wright, a third-team honoree, started 57 of Indiana State’s 61 games in 2019 at catcher, including 30-straight games to close out the season. He finished with a .296 batting average to go along with four home runs and 36 RBI.
A Toronto native, Wright ranked among the conference leaders in slugging percentage (.394), hits (60) and hit-by-pitch (13). In the classroom, Wright holds a 3.71 grade point average in criminology and criminal justice.
The 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Division I Baseball Teams feature 15 members with a 4.0 GPA or higher and 26 members with at least a 3.90 GPA as either undergraduate or graduate student-athletes. The 12 members on the first team have an average GPA of 3.98.
• ISU recruits contribute — At New Castle, Indiana State men’s basketball recruits Cobie Barnes and Jake LaRavia both contributed in the 127-116 Indiana Senior All-Stars victory over the Indiana Juniors at Chrysler Gym on Wednesday.
LaRavia, from Lawrence Central, scored 11 points and had four rebounds in 16 minutes. Barnes, from Floyd Central, scored eight points in 13 minutes.
The Indiana All-Stars play the Kentucky All-Stars in Louisville tonight with the return game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.