ST. LOUIS (UD Athletics) -- University of Dayton redshirt senior running back Tucker Yinger was named the 2018 Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year selections in an announcement by the league office today.
Yinger, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American who is also a two-time First Team All-PFL selection, carries a 3.81 GPA in Mechanical Engineering. He is also the first Dayton player to be named First Team Academic All-PFL four times.
He was one of four unanimous First Team All-PFL selections this season. He became the first Dayton runner to post two 1,000-yard seasons when he ran for more than 200 yards in each of his last three games and finished with 1,340 yards. He set the Dayton career records for rushing yards (3,757), yards-per-carry (6.3) and all-purpose yards (4,468).
The PFL Scholar-Athlete Award was first presented in 2014, in the five years of its existence, a Dayton Flyer has been its recipient three times. Christopher Beaschler shared the award with Matt Shiltz of Butler in 2015, and won it outright in 2016.
Senior safety David Leisring was on the first team for the third straight year. He is majoring in finance, and has a 3.71 GPA. He is also a two-time CoSIDA All-American and was named First Team All-PFL this season.
Defensive tackle Isaac Sexton and safety Tim Simon were both named Academic All-PFL for the second time. Sexton, who was a Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, carries a 3.94 GPA chemical engineering major. Simon's grade point average in mechanical engineering is 3.81. Sexton was named Honorable Mention All-PFL on Tuesday.
Senior Matt Tunnacliffe, a double major in Finance & Entrepreneurship with a 3.49 GPA was named to the first team for the first time. Tunnacliffe was named as a long snapper.
Five more Flyers were named Second Team Academic All-PFL. They were linebacker Anthony Best (3.97, Engineering), return specialist Kyle Butz (3.49, Sport Management), offensive tackle Ben Gauthier (3.32, Adolescence-to-Young-Adult Education), defensive end Nick Surges (3.35, Finance) and running back Richie Warfield (3.97, Marketing),
Dayton's 10 selections on the two teams were the most in the league. Drake and San Diego both had seven. The five first-teamers for UD tied Butler and Drake for the most this season.
Pioneer Football League athletic directors established the Academic All-PFL squads in 1993 as a way to recognize the league's outstanding student-athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-PFL consideration, 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.