Leonhardt honored as Academic All-America First Team
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Leonhardt honored as Academic All-America First Team

TOWSON, Md. – Bemidji State University senior tight end Brian Leonhardt’s (Blaine, Minn.) accolades on and off the gridiron are unmatched in the lore of Beaver football. The decorated student-athlete added another honor Wednesday when the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced him a member of the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division II Football First Team.

With the award, Leonhardt becomes the first member of the BSU football team to be named Academic All-America First Team. He was a 2011 Academic All-America Second Team member and is the first football player to achieve All-America status in consecutive seasons. Only two other BSU student-athletes have earned the Academic All-America honor, as Brody Scheff (2011) and Ben McAninch (1998) were awarded second team laurels.

Since 1976, only five Bemidji State student-athletes have earned first team academic honors (seven total awards). Kristi Buerkle (Spring 2011) is the last Beaver to earn first team honors and before Leonhardt, only two BSU student-athletes have earned two or more Academic All-America awards in their career.

Leonhardt owns a 3.71 GPA and will graduate with a degree in business administration. He is a three-time academic all-district award winner and three-time Fall NSIC All-Academic Team member.

Earlier today, Leonhardt was named to the 2012 Beyond Sports Network (BSN) Division II All-America First Team. A 2011 All-America selection, Leonhardt becomes the first player since Eddie Acosta to earn All-American honors in back-to-back seasons. Acosta, the program’s all-time rushing leader, was named All-America in 2000 and 2001. Overall, Leonhardt is the 26th Bemidji State All-America football player and the first from BSN.

Despite battling injuries all season, Leonhardt started 10 games and was honored as North Division All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team Offense. The tight end posted 25 receptions for 343 yards and three touchdowns. His reception and reception yardage numbers were third on the team in 2012, while the three scores put him in a four-way tie for first. He averaged 34.3 yards per game, 13.7 yards per reception and had a season-long reception of 38 yards. He posted a season-high 93 yards on seven receptions at University of Mary Oct. 6. An extension of the offensive line, Leonhardt has helped guide the Beavers to 170.8 rushing yards per game and 20 touchdowns.

He capped his career with 15 touchdowns to rank tied for eighth all-time at Bemidji State and his 112 career receptions are 10th at BSU. Leonhardt finished his career with 1,431 career reception yards to rank second among BSU tight ends since 1971.

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 16,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

The Capital One Division II Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2012-13 D-II Academic All-America® teams program.

Bemidji State Academic All-America First Team Members  
Year Sport Student-Athlete
1976 Men's Basketball Steve Vogel 
1977 Men's Basketball   Steve Vogel 
1978 Men's Basketball   Steve Vogel 
2003 Men's Basketball   Royce Bryan
2005 Men's Ice Hockey Peter Jonsson
2005 Women's Soccer Christina Egnell
2011 Women's Track/Cross Country Kristi Buerkle
2012 Football Brian Leonhardt

The Beavers started 1-3, but finished the 2012 season 7-4 to record their 14th record of at least .500 in their last 15 seasons. The team’s 5-1 record at Chet Anderson Stadium ties a program-best for home wins in a season and marks the 11th consecutive winning record at home. Bemidji State went 6-1 in the North to share the North Division title with University of Minnesota Duluth and record its best showing in the five years since beginning divisional play.

In recognition of the NSIC North Co-Championship, the Beavers are inviting the public to celebrate the season at the 2012 North Division Champions Banquet Dec. 8 from 5-8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Bemidji, Minn. For more information - http://www.bsubeavers.com/football/news/2012/6250/nsic-north-division-champions-banquet-set-for-dec-8/

For more information on the Bemidji State football program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateFB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/bsubeaverfootball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $216.5 billion in deposits and $294.5 billion in total assets outstanding as of March 31, 2012. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One and ING Direct offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.