Junior defensive lineman Robert Hayes (Sterling, VA/Park View) of the Shepherd University football team has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America NCAA Division II Football team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He is the first Shepherd football player to gain Academic All-America honors since Ron Branch in 1997.
Hayes, who boasts a 3.56 grade point average as a fitness and exercise science major, was a second team selection. A first team All-WVIAC selection for the Rams this season, Hayes recorded 30 tackles with 18 solo stops. Hayes added nine tackles-for-loss for 44 yards and two sacks for 20 yards. He also added a pair of blocked kicks. Hayes helped lead a Shepherd defense that leads NCAA II in rushing defense (52.64) and is ranked eighth in tackles-for-loss (8.73) and 10th in scoring defense (16.64).
The Capital One Division II Academic All-America program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2012-13 D-II Academic All-America teams program.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.