ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum wide receiver Evan Altizer has been named the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Football Scholar Athlete of the Year announced league officials Wednesday. Altizer shares this year's award with Newberry offensive lineman Dakota Mozingo.
The SAC Scholar Athlete of the Year Award is presented annually to a student-athlete in each of the conference's 20 championship sports and is selected by the league's faculty athletic representatives.
Altizer, a senior from Weddington, North Carolina, has a 3.84 cumulative grade point average while majoring in English. He is a four-year member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List, President's List and the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.
This marks the eighth time that a Tusculum football player has earned SAC Scholar Athlete honors, joining Craig Pritchett (2002, 2003), Glen Black (2005, 2006) and Jarrell NeSmith (2007, 2008, 2009). Tusculum's eight SAC Football Scholar Athletes are the most in the conference since the Pioneers joined the league in 1999.
Earlier this month, Altizer was tabbed to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Football first team, becoming the third Pioneer to receive the honor.
The two-time Academic All-District selection led the Pioneers with his 9.1 punt return average, which is third in the league and 42nd in the country. His season-long 45-yard return at UNC Pembroke set up a touchdown in TC's 31-10 road victory. He leaves Tusculum as the program's all-time leader with 83 punt returns, while his 677 punt return yards are second in the TC record book, while his career 8.16 punt return average is seventh-best by a Pioneer.
Altizer started in all 10 games as a receiver, where he finished second on the team with 25 receptions for 444 yards. His four touchdown receptions were tops on the squad. During his 42-game career, he posted 67 receptions for 1,359 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 1,359 receiving yards are 15th in school history.
He has given time to his community, where he has volunteered at Tusculum View Elementary School with Tusculum's Lunch Buddies Program. He has also been involved with the Drop Everything and Read Program and with his football teammates he has volunteered with roadside clean-up projects as part of the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Altizer volunteered during the College's Nettie Day of Service for the region, providing numerous hours working on various projects in the area.
He has served as a campus ambassador for the Tusculum President's Society while also being a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered for the Greenville Boys and Girls Club. As well as spending time volunteering for the Special Olympics.
"Evan is an outstanding football player," said Tusculum head coach Jerry Odom. "He, in the truest term is what the phrase 'student-athlete' is intended. He is a tireless worker both on and off the field. He is a shining star in the community and I for one could not be prouder of Evan for this most deserved accomplishment."
The Pioneers finished the season with a 5-5 overall record, including 3-4 in league play to finish fourth in the conference, the team's second straight top-tier finish in the SAC. TC also posted its first non-losing campaign since 2014.