ST. LOUIS -- Three Indiana State Sycamores have been named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic Team as announced today (Nov. 28) by the league office.
Tight End Michael Mardis, linebacker Dillon Painter and wide receiver/return specialist Tanner Riley all were honored by the league's vote of sports information directors by being named to the honorable mention squad.
Mardis carries a 3.21 grade point average (gpa) in Nursing at ISU and earned the first Mary Card Harbaugh School of Nursing Scholarship this past year. Mardis also earned the State Farm Sycamore Scholar-Athlete of the Month honor for September. He was named to the MVFC All-Academic Team last year and is a nominee for the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team this season. He was the team's leading receiver with 34 receptions for 408 yards and four TDs, with a long pass reception of 43 yards. Mardis averaged 37.1 yards per game, which ranked 20th in the MVFC and also averaged 3.09 receptions per game, which ranked 21st in the league. He had eight multi-catch games, including a season-best six receptions at Indiana and against Illinois State.
Painter holds a 3.48 gpa in Exercise Science as was also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District as a sophomore in 2010. In 2012, Painter started four games at the linebacker position and played in 10 games where he made 37 total tackles, including 16 solos and 21 assists. Painter tallied three tackles for a loss of 10 yards, including one quarterback sack for a loss of eight yards at Western Illinois. He added one quarterback hurry and three pass breakups and reached double digit tackles with a season-best 12 stops at Indiana. Painter posted 1.5 tackles for a loss of eight yards at Western Illinois as well as another TFL for a loss of two yards against South Dakota.
Riley owns a 3.34 gpa in Business Marketing and had five kickoff returns on the year for a total of 190 yards, including a kickoff return for a 93-yard touchdown in the annual Homecoming contest against Missouri State. He was named the MVFC and National Special Teams Player Of The Week for his efforts against the Bears and paced the team with 10 punt returns for 80 yards, averaging eight yards per punt return, including a long of 18 against South Dakota State. Riley added 22 pass receptions for 219 yards and a touchdown at Southern Illinois while enjoying four multi-catch performances, including four in MVFC play and a season-best six catches at Southern Illinois. He tallied a career-high 69 receiving yards at Youngstown State.
Forty-four student-athletes, including 11 who earned first-team honors, highlight the 2012 all-Missouri Valley Football Conference all-academic team, announced by the league office today.
Nominees must be starters or important reserves with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale). Student-athletes must have reached sophomore academic and athletic standing at their institutions (freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution. League sports information directors voted on the team by designating 11 players for first-team honors and 11 players for second-team honors.