IRVING — Nate Leonard and Eric Soza both were named to Conference USA's 11-member All-Academic Team, the league office announced on Thursday.
Leonard, who was tabbed a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American on Thursday, maintains 3.99 GPA in physical education. The only Roadrunner to start all 34 games in program history, he chronicled his junior campaign with a blog on goUTSA.com after doing so last season for The Huffington Post.
The McKinney native was instrumental in the team's success this fall, as he helped UTSA post a 7-5 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in Conference USA play, and the Roadrunners tied a program record by winning their final five outings of the season.
The offense averaged 25.6 points, 417.8 total yards (175.4 rush/242.4 pass), 21.9 first downs and 32:24 possession time per contest and the 6-foot, 280-pounder led the offensive line with 70 knockdown blocks, including a season-high 10 against Rice (Oct. 12), in addition to grading out at 82 percent.
Meanwhile, Soza graduated last May with a 3.96 GPA in physical education and he currently is taking graduate courses in education leadership and policy studies with plans to pursue coaching.
The Beeville native was a member of both the Manning Award (nation’s top QB) and inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (top offensive player in Division I with ties to the state of Texas) preseason watch lists. The first Roadrunners football player ever to be named to a national award preseason watch list finished his career with a 19-13 (.594) record in three seasons as the squad's starting quarterback. He is the program’s all-time leading passer (574-for-966/6,952 yards/46 TDs) and also rushed a school-record 259 times for 1,018 yards and 16 scores during his time in the Alamo City.
Soza connected on 236-of-377 (62.6 percent) passes for 2,719 yards, including a program-record 316 against Houston (Sept. 28), and 12 touchdowns this past season in addition to rushing for 369 yards and seven scores on 97 carries.
He was selected as one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes on Oct. 31 and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (a.k.a. the Academic Heisman). The 6-foot, 210-pounder also was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District VII selection, a member of this year’s American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team and a Senior CLASS Award candidate.