Nov. 26, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior defensive back Mike Anello (Orland Park, Ill.) has been selected to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America second team.
Anello gives the Irish football program 52 academic All-American nominees in program history, which ranks second best in the nation. Notre Dame has had 38 first-team selections, 13 second-team honorees and one honorable mention choice.
Anello, a finance major in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, owns a 3.93 cumulative grade point average (GPA). He has earned dean's list recognition every semester at Notre Dame and is scheduled to graduate this December in 3.5 years. Anello owns a 4.0 GPA in his major courses and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honors society.
After joining the squad as a walk-on in 2007 and making six tackles on special teams in eight games, Anello was awarded a scholarship this fall and has made quite a name for himself. He is tied for 10th on the Irish in tackles with 22, including 14 solo stops, remarkable when you consider he plays exclusively on special teams. Anello not only has recorded eight multi-tackle games, but Notre Dame's opponents have a total of 71 punt (21) or kickoff (50) returns in 2008 and Anello has registered a tackle on 22 of those 71 opportunities.
Anello's top performances of the season came against Michigan, Navy and Syracuse. He not only registered three tackles, two solo, as well as forced a fumble and fumble recovery against the Wolverines, but also nearly recovered a second fumble on a punt. Anello had another outstanding game against Navy. He registered a pair of tackles on special teams and also blocked his first career punt, which was returned for a touchdown
The special teams stalwart forced another fumble early in the first quarter to set up Notre Dame's first score of the afternoon last week against Syracuse. Anello also got a piece of Rob Long's 25-yard punt early in the third quarter to set up another golden scoring opportunity.
Notre Dame has already had four student-athletes garner Academic All-America accolades this fall, including Anello, Matt Besler (first team in men's soccer), Brittany Bock (first team in women's soccer) and Elise Weber (second team in women's soccer). The Irish now have 206 Academic All-Americans in school history, second-most of any institution.
Voting for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team was conducted by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Committee. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.