BELTON, Texas- Through three years as the Cru’s starting center, Steven Sellers set the bar high. But it is debatable as to whether he set the bar higher on the field or in the classroom, where earned 11 conference and national academic honors.
The Murphy, Texas native, who graduated in May, received perhaps the most notable academic award of his collegiate career on Wednesday, as Sellers was named the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American of the Year.
He is the first UMHB athlete in any sport to have won the award, and adds that to what was an already lengthy list of accomplishments as a Crusader.
“It was surreal when I found out that I not only won this honor, but that I was able to represent the university in this manner,” Sellers said in a press release. “It is amazing to be the first one in school history and to help shine that light on the program and this institution with such great academics. It is great to be able to represent offensive linemen in this way, too. I can’t say enough good things about the program and the school because I learned so many lessons that will stay with me for a lifetime.”
In his senior year alone, Sellers graduated with a double major in management and economics, posting a 4.00 GPA on his way to an ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor. He also was selected to the National Football Foundation’s Hampshire Honor Society and on the field, earned his second straight ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year award.
Sellers was a centerpiece in UMHB’s success over his three varsity seasons, as his extreme dedication and focus was evident both in the classroom and on the gridiron. He started 31 of the Cru’s 33 games while on varsity, missing only the NCAA Quarterfinal game in 2019 and the 41-0 win over Belhaven this spring due to injury. During that time, UMHB went 32-1, winning the 2018 National Championship and three ASC titles.
In addition, junior defensive lineman Sante Parker Jr. was selected to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Second Team. The computer science major has a 3.96 GPA and has twice been named to the ASC’s Academic All-Conference team. He was exceptional on the field for the Cru this spring, leading the defense with 3.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss.
UMHB opens the 2021 football season against Simpson College on September 4 in Belton. The Cru comes off a 5-0 record during the conference-only spring schedule.