AUSTIN, Texas – The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Tuesday, July 13, Ohio Dominican football's Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) as its 2020-21 Academic All-America Team Member of the Year.
Ernst is also a CoSIDA first team Academic All-American. The Panther quarterback is the first student-athlete in school history to be named as a national team member of the year by CoSIDA and is the 13th Academic All-American in ODU's football program history. The Panthers now have 10 first team selections and Ernst's award gives ODU a first team honoree in each of the past six years.
Due to the low percentage of games completed for the 2020-21 academic year, the nominees for the football awards were selected by sports information directors across the country based on career statistics and achievements.
"As someone who has always put academics first while following my passion for football, it is an absolute honor to receive this award," stated Ernst. "I would not be where I am today without my amazing support system. I have been blessed with loving parents and family who have made countless sacrifices and uplifted me in every phase of life."
Ernst, a three-time all-Great Midwest performer, is receiving his first Academic All-America honor. He was also selected as the ODU Male Senior and Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2020-21.
The gunslinger started all six games in an abbreviated spring campaign, completing 67.8 percent of his passes for 986 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the G-MAC in completion percentage, while his passing efficiency rating of 123.1 was also top three in the conference.
Ernst posted a pair of top 10 national completion percentage marks in 2018 and 2019, including a country-leading mark of 74.5 percent as a redshirt freshman in 2018. The Mason, Ohio native also became just the fourth player in program history to surpass 5,000 career passing yards this past spring.
Among the nation's career active leaders, Ernst leads Division II and ranks second across all three NCAA divisions in career completion percentage, 69.4. He is also top 10 among Division II active leaders in passing yards (5,403), yards per game (207.8), passing efficiency (154.6), completions (484), completions per game (18.6), pass attempts (697), and passes per game (26.8).
"I see my job as a quarterback to put my teammates in the best position to be successful. With the talented teammates and coaches I have had at Ohio Dominican, this job has been a gift."
Since taking over the offense in 2018, Ernst has led ODU to a 20-6 overall record, including an 18-5 mark in G-MAC play. With Ernst at quarterback, the Panthers have never finished worse than a tie for second in the G-MAC standings.
"ODU provides such a special place for academics in addition to athletics. My academic experience has been shaped by the amazing professors I have had the honor to study under. I wouldn't trade my time here for anything."
Ernst will return to campus again this fall to lead the Panthers in their full, 11-game schedule. ODU is set to open the 2021 fall campaign at home against Shepherd, with kickoff set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 2.
Contact: Tyler Jester