By: Rick Bender
HANOVER, N.H. — The Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) announced its 22nd Annual Academic All-Star Team comprised of 53 individuals, two of whom play for the Dartmouth Big Green — seniors Jack Traynor and Drew Estrada. This is the third straight year Traynor has been chosen for this honor.
Only five Ivy Leaguers were named to the squad, and Dartmouth was one of 12 FCS schools with two on the team. The 53 individuals were selected from a pool of 102 applicants.
Traynor, an engineering major with a 3.68 GPA, won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year while earning All-Ivy League First Team honors unanimously for the third straight year. He was also selected for the Division I All-New England Team for the third time and the CoSIDA Academic All-District I Team.
Traynor, a 6-0, 230 pound linebacker from Lake Forest, Illinois, collected 75 tackles in 2019 — third most in the Ivy League — 4.5 of which went for a loss including an assisted sack. He also returned a pair of interceptions for a league-high 93 yards (one a 55-yard pick-six) plus recovered two fumbles, returning one 17 yards for another touchdown. He finished his Big Green career 11th all-time with 270 tackles, 16 going for a loss with 1.5 sacks to his credit.
A second-team All-Ivy League selection at both wide receiver and return specialist, Estrada majors in economics modified with sociology while sporting a 3.35 GPA. The 6-0, 190-pound native of Argyle, Texas, was a playmaker for the Big Green, ranking fourth in the league with 822 receiving yards and second with eight touchdown catches, plus led the circuit and ranked 13th nationally in all-purpose yards (137.1 per game). The senior’s 17.0 yards per punt return was also fourth among FCS players, with one being an 87-yard touchdown, the second-longest return in Dartmouth history.
Football players from all FCS institutions are eligible for the award. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum GPA of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or key player with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominees must have reached their second year of athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution and have completed a minimum of one full academic year at the nominated institution. They must also have participated in 50 percent (50%) of the games played at their designated position.
Notes: In the 22 years the Academic All-Star Team has been named, Dartmouth has had 17 players selected a total of 24 times … Traynor is the only one to be chosen three times while five others made the team twice: Josh Dooley ’06, Andrew Dete ’09, Tanner Scott ’11, Michael Runger ’14 and Jack Heneghan ’18.