Gustavus football player T.J. Ridley (Sr., Edina, Minn.) has been named a First Team Academic All-America honoree by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Ridley, a four-year regular for the Gusties as a defensive back and special teams player, was a second team selection last year. A biology major, who is planning to attend medical school next year, Ridley maintains a 3.95 grade point average. He becomes only the third football player at Gustavus to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team in back-to-back seasons. Gustavus ranks seventh all-time in Division III in number of Academic All-Americans with 81.
A four-year letterwinner as a defensive back, Ridley missed the first game this season with an injured foot, but played in the final nine games. In addition to playing the free safety position on defense, Ridley is also a member of the kick and punt coverage teams. In nine games this season, Ridley compiled 14 solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles for 27 total tackles. He also recorded 2 pass breakups and forced a fumble. In 34 career games, Ridley compiled 45 solo tackles and 50 assisted tackles for 95 total tackles. He also intercepted two passes.
Earlier this fall, Ridley was selected as a semifinalist for the 2009 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
In addition to competing on both the football and hockey teams, Ridley is also very active in other campus activities as he is a member of the Tau Psi Omega fraternity (Reds), Student Athlete Volunteer Educators (SAVE) and serves as a Biology Department teaching assistant.
Ridley is the son of Jeff and Cindy Ridley of Edina and a 2006 graduate of Edina High School.
The CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® program honors male and female student-athletes annually who have succeeded at the highest level on the playing field and in the classroom. Individuals are selected through voting by CoSIDA, the College Sports Information Directors of America; a 2,000-member organization consisting of sports public relations professionals for colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average 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.