Nov. 24, 2009
Senior OT Adam Ulatoski and junior DE Sam Acho have been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America have announced.
With the selection of Ulatoski and Acho, Texas has now had five Academic All-Americans in the last three years with at least one in each of those years. In 2008, RB Chris Ogbonnaya was named to the second team, while in 2007, Texas also had two selected to the first team in C Dallas Griffin and DT Derek Lokey.
This year, Texas was one of just two schools to place multiple players on the first team along with Penn State.
A member of the Outland Trophy watch list as the nation’s top lineman, Ulatoski anchors a line that has paved the way for Texas to rank second in the nation in scoring (42.5 ppg) this season. He has started 41 of 47 career games and is a two-time All-Big 12 selection, including first-team honors in 2008.
Ulatoski has a 3.89 GPA in graduate school for advertising and earned his B.A. in corporate communications last December, finishing with a 3.53 GPA. Along with being named 2008 Academic All-District 6, he is a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree, an eight-time member of UT Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and a member of the Dean’s List. He also received UT’s Provost Award in April for a semester with a 4.0 GPA. He completed a 2009 internship at national ad agency GSD&M and a 2008 marketing internship at the Frank Erwin Center. This summer, Ulatoski led a team initiative with Habitat for Humanity and A Brush with Kindness, and he is an active participant in UT’s community service program.
A Lott Trophy semifinalist (defensive IMPACT player of the year), Acho has played in 35 career games (11 starts) and tallied 67 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 17 TFL, 24 pressures, seven PBD, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. In 2009, Acho has notched 41 tackles, seven sacks, 11 TFL, 13 pressures, three PBD, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. The four fumble recoveries are tied for the most nationally and tied for third on UT’s single-season list.
An honors business major in the prestigious McCombs School of Business, Acho maintains a 3.62 GPA. He is a member UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and earlier this year, served as UT’s representative at the 2009 NCAA Leadership Conference. Along with being named 2008 Academic All-District 6, he was also first-team Academic All-Big 12 last year and is a four-time member of the UT Athletics Director’s Honor Roll. He is a Dean’s List member and has tested out of 26 hours in foreign language, calculus and rhetoric. In April, Acho was honored with the Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholarship Award, which is a national award that recognizes minority student-athletes who are committed to both education and athletics. Including this summer, he and his family have made numerous medical mission trips to his father and mother’s native country of Nigeria. He has also mentored elementary school students and participated in all team community activities.