DES MOINES, Iowa – Three student-athletes on the Drake University football team have been named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District team, it was announced Thursday.
Drake’s honorees on the Academic All-District team include defensive lineman Brandon Coleman (Cary, Ill.), linebacker Travis Merritt (Johnston, Iowa) and defensive back Mike Ratelle (Edina, Minn.). The selection to the Academic All-District team qualifies all three to receive potential Academic All-America honors. Additionally, Drake’s three all-district selections are tied for the seventh most in the nation among Division I programs behind six programs with four selections.
Coleman, a senior, earned a spot on the all-district squad thanks to a 3.63 grade point average in secondary education. On the field, he has led Drake’s defense with 12 tackles for loss and six sacks. His tackles for loss are the second most in the Pioneer Football League and 21st in the nation.
Ratelle Is tied for the team lead in interceptions and is sixth in all-purpose yardage this season while maintaining a 3.52 GPA in his accounting curriculum. One of the highlights of the senior’s season include returning the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown at Valparaiso. As a kick and punt returner, he averages 26.3 yards per return on kickoffs and 29.3 yards per return on punts.
Merritt has been one of the stalwarts of the defense’s second line with 84 tackles, the second most on the team and the seventh most in the PFL. In the classroom, he has a 3.75 GPA in biology. He has recorded nine or more tackles five times this season with a team-high three fumble recoveries and an interception.
The CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America teams will be announced on Dec. 6. Last season, Drake’s Mike Lahart became the 12th Drake football student-athlete to earn the prestigious honor.
Coleman, Merritt, Ratelle and their teammates return to action this Saturday to host PFL leader Butler at 1 p.m. in Drake Stadium.