Whitman And Wakefield Earn Academic All-American Honors

Academic All-American tight end Josh Whitman
Academic All-American tight end Josh Whitman

Dec. 5, 2000

For the second straight year, University of Illinois football players Josh Whitman and Fred Wakefield earned Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, as announced today by CoSIDA.

Illinois' senior starting tight end, Whitman (West Lafayette, Ind.), was named to the first team for the second consecutive year after finishing his college career with a 3.99 GPA in Illinois' nationally ranked college of business. He will represent college football and the University next week at the College Football Foundation Hall of Fame banquet as he accepts a post-graduate scholarship, he was selected from over 500 football players nominated. In addition to being exceptional in the classroom, Whitman excelled on the field as well. He caught seven touchdown passes in his career, two shy of the school record at the position and hauled in 52 catches for 542 yards, This season, he was named an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection.

Wakefield (Tuscola, Ill.) earned second-team honors, also for the second straight year. The senior defensive end has a 3.37 GPA in kinesiology and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten award winner. He also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after leading the conference in sacks (9) and tackles-for-loss (21). Wakefield twice was named as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week during the season after batting down a California two-point conversion to preserve a 17-15 Illini win and for his eight-tackle, four tackle-for-loss performance in the Illini's 31-0 blanking of Iowa.