Gradkowski Earns All-American Honors Again; Cited as Second Team All-Star by Associated Press
December 15, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEW YORK -- University of Delaware senior offensive lineman Gino Gradkowski (at right) added a second national citation to his resume Friday afternoon as the Blue Hen co-captain was named a second team All-American by the Associated Press.
Gradkowski, a three-year starter from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Seton-LaSalle High School), was one of eight Colonial Athletic Association student-athletes named to the three Associated Press teams. Earlier this month, Gradkowski was named first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, extending Delaware’s streak to 10 straight years having at least one All-American selection.
A two-time first team All-CAA selection, Gradkowski has solidified his reputation as the top offensive lineman in the league as well as one of the top blockers in the nation this season. He is expected to earn looks from National Football League teams as a potential pick in this spring’s annual draft.
“Gino had a phenomenal year, possibly the best for an offensive lineman that I’ve seen in my 10 years here at Delaware,” said Keeler after Gradkowski was honored by the AFCA last week. “The leadership that he provides to our team in the weight room and the locker room, not to mention his play on the field, makes him very deserving of being an All-American.”
Gradkowski helped lead Keeler’s squad to a 7-4 record this past fall as the Hens barely missed out on a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Gradkowski was also the Hens’ top offensive lineman in 2010 when Delaware went 12-3 and advanced to the national championship game.
A three-year starter after transfering from West Virginia, Gradkowski led a senior-laden offensive line unit that also included All-CAA picks Shea Allard and Rob McDowell. The group opened big holes for 1,000-yard rusher Andrew Pierce while helping the UD offense rank fifth in the CAA in both rushing offense (165.5 yards per game) and scoring offense (25.8 points per game).
Gradkowski, who started all 11 games this season, including eight at guard and three at center, earned first team All-CAA honors back in November, becoming the first UD player to earn back-to-back first team honors since defensive back Charles Graves in 2009 and 2010 and the first UD offensive lineman to accomplish the feat since Conway Hayman in 1968-69.
Delaware has now placed at least one player on the Associated Press All-American team in each of the last five seasons. Gradkowski is the first UD offensive lineman to be honored on the team since Mike Byrne was a third team pick in 2007.
All-American teams for the The Sports Network and College Sporting News, as well as others will be announced in the coming weeks.
2011 Associated Press NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision All-American Teams
FIRST TEAM - OFFENSE - QB - Bo Levi Mitchell (Eastern Washington); RB - Shakir Bell (Indiana State), Eric Breitenstein (Wofford); OL - J.C. Oram (Weber State); George Bias (Stephen F. Austin); Paul Cornick (North Dakota State), Brett Moore (Georgia Southern), Tom Compton (South Dakota); WR - Rodrick Rumble (Idaho State), Aaron Mellette (Elon), Ryan Spadola (Lehigh); AP - Jonathan Grimes (William & Mary); K - Zach Brown (Portland State); DEFENSE - DL - Ben Boothby (Northern Iowa), Zack Nash (Sacramento State), Ben Obaseki (Indiana State), Adrian Hamilton (Prairie View A&M); LB - Tyler Holmes (Massachusetts); Kadarron Anderson (Furman), Caleb McSurdy (Montana); DB - Marcus Williams (North Dakota State), Trumaine Johnson (Montana), Ryan Steed (Furman), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina); P - David Harrington (Idaho State)
SECOND TEAM - OFFENSE - QB - Chris Lum (Lehigh); RB - Terrance West (Towson); Tim Flanders (Sam Houston State); OL - Bryan Boerner (Southern Illinois), Gino Gradkowski (Delaware), Nate Page (Wofford), Blake Matthews (Norfolk State), Joe Faiella (Stony Brook); WR - Brian Quick (Appalachian State), Mario Louis (Grambling), Nicholas Edwards (Eastern Washington); AP - Brock Jackolski (Stony Brook); K - Ryan Estep (Norfolk State); DEFENSE - DL - Brent Russell (Georgia Southern), Blake Olijaro (San Diego), Andrew Schaetzke (Georgetown), Ronnie Cameron (Old Dominion); LB - Matt Evans (New Hampshire), Blake Peiffer (Southeast Missouri State), A.J. Storms (Idaho State); DB - Kejuan Riley (Alabama State), Justin Bethel (Presbyterian), Darnell Taylor (Sam Houston State), Bryce Robertson (Bucknell); P - Jonathan Plisco (Old Dominion)
THIRD TEAM - OFFENSE - QB - Casey Brockman (Murray State); RB - Nick Schweiger (Dartmouth), Matt Denham (Eastern Kentucky); OL - Scott Schweitzer (Tennessee Tech), Jon Apperud (Montana), Malcolm Boyd (Liberty), Jeff Adams (Columbia), Troy McKenna (Lehigh); WR - Shane Savage (Cornell), Tre Gray (Richmond); Elvis Akpla (Montana State); AP - Gralyn Crawford (Stephen F. Austin); K - Tyler Sievertsen (Northern Iowa); DEFENSE - DL - Ryan Davis (Bethune-Cookman); Tyler Osborne (Southern Utah); Josue Ortiz (Harvard); Joseph Lebeau (Jackson State); LB - L.J. Fort (Northern Iowa); Derek Rose (Northwestern State); Keith Pough (Howard); DB - Serge Kona (Duquesne); Asa Jackson (Cal Poly); Jeremy Caldwell (Eastern Kentucky); Daxton Swanson (Sam Houston State); P- Patrick Murray (Fordham).