Gustavus Adolphus College football player Brad Kruckeberg (Ellendale, Minn.) has been named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America Division III Football Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Kruckeberg, a senior free safety, is a biology major with a GPA of 3.88. The 25 members of the Capital One Academic All-America Division III First Team have an average GPA of 3.83 this season.
Kruckeberg is one of four senior defensive backs to earn a spot on the first team. The Ellendale, Minn. native was recently named Second Team All-Conference, earning second team distinction for the second-straight year. Kruckeberg ranked second on the team in tackles with 48 (26 solo, 22 asst.) and picked off a team-high two passes this season. He also defended six passes and had four break-ups. “Kruck,” as he is referred to by the team, was at the helm of a Gustavus secondary that ranked second in the league in pass defense after allowing 164.0 yards per game through the air.
Displaying a combination superb footwork, a knowledge of the game, and speed defending both the run and the pass, Brad has been mainstay of the Gustavus defensive secondary the past three seasons. Brad has started in 30-straight games beginning with the season-opener his sophomore season, serving as a safety in 2010 and 2011, while playing cornerback in 2009. The senior captain has played in 36 games for the black and gold, registering a total of 143 tackles (84 solo, 59 asst.) in his tenure. He intercepted a total of 10 passes over his career, ranking fifth all-time at Gustavus.
Along with his success on the field, Brad has also excelled in the community as well. Kruckeberg is a volunteer for the Special Olympics, St. Peter Food Shelf, Relay For Life, and the Mayo Clinic Health System, as well as being a member of the Tau Psi Omega Fraternity (REDS). Kruck also serves as Co-President on the Inter-Greek Senate at Gustavus.
Kruckeberg, who is a three-time Academic All-MIAC performer and Gustavus’ representative on the 2011 All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team, will spend a year traveling, volunteering, and working while at the same time applying for medical schools across the Midwest.
Brad is one of four players from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference be named to the Academic All-America First and Second Teams. Alongside Kruckeberg on the first team is senior Dan Chapman, an offensive lineman from St. Thomas with a 3.88 GPA in political science and economics. Taking home second team distinction is senior wide receiver Fritz Waldvogel (3.60 GPA, Finance) and senior defensive back David Vavra (3.85, Nursing).
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
“Brad’s work both in the classroom and on the field have been remarkable,” said head Gustavus football coach Peter Haugen. “His passion for excellence is contagious and his actions have served as an inspiration to both our players and staff. Being named to the Academic All-America First Team is an incredible honor and is a reflection of Brad’s hard work and sacrifice. Brad’s character reflects the core values of Gustavus Adolphus College and our football program. We are very proud of Brad and are thankful to his family, coaches, and professors who have both supported and challenged him throughout his career.
Brad Kruckeberg is the first Gustavus football player to earn Academic All-America honors since fellow defensive back T.J. Ridley did so following the 2009 season.