Nov. 24, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan fifth-year senior punter Zoltan Mesko (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg HS) was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America football team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Tuesday (Nov. 24). Mesko is one of 24 first-team selections. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution, and must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games.
Mesko is currently enrolled in the sport management master's program at U-M. He received his bachelor's degree in spring 2009 from the Ross School of Business, majoring in marketing and finance; U.S. News & World Report currently ranks U-M's BBA program fourth nationally. He is Michigan's first Academic All-American since wide receiver Jason Avant was named to the 2005 second team.
One of just three 2009 Ray Guy award finalists as the nation's top collegiate punter, Mesko earned his second straight All-Big Ten Conference first-team honor on Monday (Nov. 24) from both the coaches and media; he is just the 10th punter in Big Ten history to earn first-team honors at least twice (2008, '09). Mesko punted 52 times for a U-M season-record 44.5-yard average in 2009. He had 17 punts over 50 yards, 18 fair caught, three touchbacks and 15 downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He completes his Michigan career as the school's all-time leading punter with 252 career punts for 10,703 yards, and ranks second in U-M history with a 42.5 yards per punt career average.
In September, Mesko was one of 11 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team, recognizing his off-the-field achievements and selfless contributions to the community. He is also a 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist and a 2009 preseason Playboy All-American. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, he was named a 2009 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar for maintaining a minimum 3.7 GPA during the 2008-09 academic year.
Mesko was joined by senior/junior wide receiver Jon Conover (Northville, Mich./Catholic Central HS) on the 2009 Academic All-District IV team as a second-team selection.