Nov. 13, 2003
Cullowhee, N.C. - Jason Whaley, who was named a 2003 National Scholar-Athlete by The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame this past month, was named first team Academic All-District III. It is the third time the senior from Beulaville, N.C., has earned the honor and he was the only three-time selection on this year's team, which is selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
District III is made up of all Division I-A and I-AA schools in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To be eligible a player must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 in the classroom and be a starter or key reserve on the field. The players selected are now eligible for the national Academic All-America team, which will be announced on December 1st.
Whaley (East Duplin HS) is a three-time WCU Male Student Athlete of the Year and carries a 3.910 cumulative grade point average in Computer Information Systems. On the field, he was a 2003 first team preseason All-American according to Street & Smith's and is Western's most versatile lineman, starting at left and right tackle as well as left and right guard in his career. He was also tabbed first team preseason All-Southern Conference this summer by the league's coaches after earning second team honors as a junior.
Whaley made the move from left guard to right tackle for The Citadel game on September 20, a game the Cats won 28-21. He led a unit that did not give up a sack in 26 pass attempts and provided protection allowing Brian Gaither to pass for 224 yards. For his effort, Whaley was named the TIAA/CREF Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week.
Whaley's play has been a key in the Catamounts leading the SoCon in passing for a second consecutive season. His offensive line unit has only allowed eight sacks in 385 passing attempts on the season, which is just one sack every 49.13 attempts and tops in the SoCon. (The next closest is fourth-ranked Wofford who allows one sack every 22.75 pass attempts.)
The 6-3, 275-pound lineman and 2003 team captain is a three-time Southern Conference Honor Roll member and an eight-time Dean's List member. In 2002, he was named to the Division I-AA Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star team. Whaley is a student in the Western Carolina Honors College as well as being a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
2003 CoSIDA UNIVERSITY DIVISION ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT III FOOTBALL TEAM
Quarterback: Tim Frazier - Hampton - Graduate Student - Biology-Pre-Med - Baltimore, Maryland
Running Back: * Chris Foster - Gardner-Webb - Senior - Education - Chesnee, South Carolina J.R. McNair - Wofford - Senior - Finance - Jonesboro, Georgia
Wide Receiver: Richard Hourigan - East Carolina - Senior - Accounting - Cary, North Carolina Tony Elliott - Clemson - Graduate Student - Engineering - Charleston, South Carolina
Tight End: Jay Cline - Liberty - Senior - Exercise Science - Danville, Virginia
Offensive Line: Sean Boyle - Liberty - Junior - Accounting - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Brandon Mason - Elon - Junior Business Adm./Accounting - Martinsville, Virginia Brian Rimpf - East Carolina - Senior - Accounting/Finance - Raleigh, North Carolina Joel Rodriguez - Miami - Senior- Journalism/Criminology - Miami, Florida ** Jason Whaley - Western Carolina - Senior - Computer Info. Systems - Beulaville, North Carolina
Kicker: Matt Sharpe - Virginia Military Inst. - Senior Computer Science - Richmond, Virginia
Defensive Line: Katon Bethay - Wofford - Sophomore - Undecided - Milton, Wisconsin Fran Person - South Carolina - Sophomore - Political Science - Haverton, Pennsylvania Preston Thorne - South Carolina - Junior - History - Summerville, South Carolina Ben Whitney - Wofford - Junior - Mathematics - Greensboro, North Carolina
Linebackers: Jim Maxwell - Gardner-Webb - Grad. Student - Business Adm. - Johnsonville, South Carolina Josh Smith - Wofford - Junior - Biology - Greer, South Carolina * Jonathan Vilma - Miami - Senior - Finance - Miami, Florida
Defensive Back: Shane Fast - Wofford - Senior - Biology - Union, South Carolina Kevin Saunders - Davidson - Junior - Biology - Roanoke, Virginia Jonathan Wheeler - Wofford - Junior - Accounting - Columbia, South Carolina * Quintin Williams - Wake Forest - Senior - English - Goldsboro, North Carolina
Punter: Hal Higgins - Georgia Tech - Senior - Management - Cornella, Georgia
* Two-time First Team Academic All-District III selection ** Three-time First Team Academic All-District selection