After culminating an outstanding career on the field, Bethany College senior Johnathan Foster added another honor to his lengthy list of accomplishments by being voted to the Capital One First Team Academic All-American football team, as presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Foster is the first Bison football player to earn Academic All-American distinction since offensive lineman Geno Ochap was a First Team selection in 2001 and the third overall, joining Ochap and running back Curt Neel, who was a Second Team honoree in 1987. As an athletic department, Bethany now has 14 Academic All-Americans in its history.
"This is a tremendous honor and we couldn't be more proud of Johnathan," said Bethany director of athletics/head football coach Tim Weaver. "His hard work on the field led him to his best season, as he broke our single season reception record. And what he's done in the classroom and the community really speaks volumes about what kind of man Johnathan has grown into over his four years at Bethany. We'll miss him, but we can't wait to see what the future holds for him."
On the field, Foster enjoyed a record-breaking season. He set a new Bethany single-season standard by catching 72 passes for 591 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 7.2 receptions per game ranked second in the PAC and his 59.1 receiving yards a contest placed him fourth in the conference. Foster caught 44 passes over the final five games, including 10 receptions in games against Waynesburg and Westminster and eight catches in the finale against Saint Vincent to set the new school record. Following the year, Foster was named Honorable Mention All-PAC, the first all-conference selection of his career.
The big season from Foster propelled him up the program's record charts. He completed his Bison career with 139 receptions, good for fifth all-time at the school, for 1,356 yards, 11th-most in BC history. Foster also caught seven touchdown passes, four of those coming during his junior season.
The academic achievements by Foster are even more extraordinary than his on-the-field awards. In September, he was named one of the 147 candidates for the 2012 National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Awards and a semifinalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. He was one of only 41 Division III players to make the list and the only player from the PAC, as well as the first Bethany player in program history to make the semifinal list.
In addition to the honors he's picked up this year, he is a psychology major (human services track) with a GPA above 3.9 and he's earned a spot on either the Dean's List or President's List for a 4.0 GPA every semester he's been at Bethany. Foster is a member of three honor societies on campus, including Bethany's prestigious Kalon Honor Society, which gives recognition to students of high character who have shown unselfish leadership within the College community.
Other awards earned by Foster during his Bethany tenure include the Richard B. Kenney Outstanding Freshman Award, the W.F. Kennedy Prize Winner as the Outstanding Junior Male and he earned acceptance into the Eastern Psychological Association for original research design. Foster also works on campus and in the community, as he has worked in the McCann Learning Center on campus as a tutor, volunteered for The Neighborhood Academy Summer program and worked as an undergraduate assistant to Bethany President Dr. Scott Miller for the last three years.