Jarrell NeSmith ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum College's Jarrell NeSmith is the male recipient of the 2008-09 South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award announced league officials.

The SAC Presidents Award is considered one of the most prestigious honors the conference bestows to its student-athletes. It exemplifies the finest combined qualities of excellence in athletics, academics and community leadership. During the year, the South Atlantic Conference recognizes 14 Scholar-Athletes, representing each of the conference-sponsored sports. The top male and female SAC Scholar-Athletes from each represented member school are then nominated for the Presidents Award.

NeSmith becomes the second Tusculum football player to win the award, joining Glen Black who earned this honor in 2007. In fact, NeSmith and Black are the only two football players in the history of the league to earn this prestigious honor.

NeSmith, a 6-2, 215-pound junior from Russellville, Ala., has a 3.86 cumulative grade point average as a Pre-Medicine major. He was named the SAC Scholar Athlete for Football for a second consecutive year and was tabbed to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® College Division Football Team this past fall.

NeSmith was named a first-team All-Conference selection at tight end and caught 67 passes for 635 yards and seven touchdowns this past football season. His catch tally was the third-best in school history and he ranked second in the league in receptions per game. NeSmith was named to the Associated Press Little All-America Team, the Daktronics Division II All-America Team, the D2Football.com All-America Team and the Football Gazette All-America Team.

He helped lead the Pioneers to a 9-4 record and the 2008 South Atlantic Conference Championship. The nine wins match a school single-season record, while earning the program its first NCAA Division II Playoff berth. Tusculum advanced to the regional semifinal round and finished the season ranked No. 16 in the nation.

NeSmith earned the 2006-07 Duffield Award, presented to the Tusculum male student-athlete with the highest GPA and was the 2005-06 Tusculum Academic Freshman of the Year. He is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. He is also on the Dean's List, President's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List. He was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV team for a second year in a row.

In the community, NeSmith has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-a-Highway and Drug Awareness program at Holston Homes for Children in Greeneville, Tenn. He also volunteers with the Lunch Buddies program at Doak Elementary School, which provides mentoring relationships between the Tusculum football players and the school children. He has spoken to youth and high school students on the importance of education and college life at South Greene High School and the Chucky Mullins Center.

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