ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Junior offensive lineman Jimmy Holtschlag (Quincy/Notre Dame) and senior quarterback Wil Lunt (Rochester/Rochester) headlined Western Illinois' selections for the 2012 Academic All-Missouri Valley Football Conference team. They were both named to the MVFC Academic First Team. Senior linebacker Jamel Wilmore (Gaithersburg, MD/Kennedy) and junior kicker Pat Smith (Quincy/Notre Dame) were voted as Honorable Mention selections.
Nominees must be starters or important reserves with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale). Student-athletes must have reached sophomore academic and athletic standing at their institutions (freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution. League sports information directors voted on the team by designating 11 players for First Team honors and 11 players for Second Team.
Holtschlag was the lone repeat selection from last year for the Leathernecks, earning First Team Academic All-MVFC honors for the second straight year. The starting right tackle, who has made 28 career starts, was also recently voted Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District for the second consecutive year, as well as earning Honorable Mention All-MVFC accolades on the playing field in both 2011 and 2012.
Last year he was voted to the FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star team. Holtschlag owns a 4.0 GPA majoring in Agriculture Science.
Lunt played in seven games and started five times this season. He led Western to a victory at South Dakota, throwing for 180 yards in the game and both touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter. The following week he threw for a season-high 204 yards. He's a three-year recipient of the Academic Excellence Award from the MVFC. He owns a 3.929 GPA majoring in Accountancy.
Smith finished the year as the national leader in field goal percentage, going 10-for-10. He has made 11 consecutive field goals dating back to last year, one shy of the program record. Smith also went 11-for-11 in extra points this season. During the season-opener he kicked three field goals, matching a personal-high, then the following week kicked a career-long 46-yard FG. The junior is also on the Fred Mitchell Award watch list, twice noted this season for his performance (September and October). He owns a 3.506 GPA majoring in Finance.
Wilmore also played in all 11 games, both at middle linebacker and on special teams. He recorded 11 of his 25 tackles during the final two games of the season. Wilmore recorded a career-high six tackles against Youngstown State then closed out his career with five at Southern Illinois. He carries a 3.655 GPA majoring in Exercise Science.