PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers senior cornerback Nate Jones (Scotch Plains, NJ) was named to the 2003 CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team (University Division), which was released today by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
With the honor, Jones became Rutgers’ first two-time Academic All-America selection, and the first to receive Academic All-America First Team honors. A second team Academic All-America pick last season, Jones was also named District II All-Academic First Team for the second consecutive year. Rutgers offensive lineman Steve Tardy was a Second Team pick in 1989.
For Jones, it is the third significant academic honor he has received in the 2003 season. In October, he was selected as one of 15 student-athletes, and one of just eight from Division I-A, to be named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame 2003 National Scholar-Athlete class. He will be honored, along with other members of the 2003 Scholar-Athlete Class, at the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame’s 46th Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Dec. 9.
Jones started at cornerback for the Scarlet Knights in all 12 games in 2003, and was the team’s third leading tackler with 73 stops, including 45 solos stops. The 5-10, 180-pound resident of Scotch Plains, NJ, also intercepted two passes, broke up seven passes, and blocked one kick.
Also an outstanding kick returner, Jones returned 19 kicks for 489 yards in 2003, an average of 25.7 yards per return. Jones is currently fourth in the BIG EAST in kickoff returns. He earned BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week honors following Rutgers’ game with Boston College, when he returned a kickoff 81 yards for a TD, his third career return for a TD.
Jones is a finance major with a 3.60 GPA. The 2003 Academic All-America team is chosen by members of the CoSIDA. Student-athletes named to an All-District team qualify for the national ballot. To be nominated for the Academic All-America program, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore with a 3.2 or higher cumulative grade point average and be a starter or significant reserve.