AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Trine University football players Mason McFarland (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs) and Elijah Klepper (Mendon, Mich./Mendon) have both been recognized for their accomplishments in the classroom as members of the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-American Division III football teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
On the field, the duo helped the Thunder post consecutive undefeated regular seasons and back-to-back Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships. Trine also earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second straight year and fifth overall appearance since Trine joined the NCAA.
McFarland, a finance major, earned first-team Academic All-American honors to cap a season that saw him record 43 tackles as a defensive lineman (20 solo and 23 assists) and was part of a defense that ranked 11th in NCAA Division III in passing yards allowed (147.5 per game). Four of McFarland's tackles this season were for loss with 2.5 of those being quarterback sacks. During the year, he had six games of four or more tackles with a season-high seven tackles against Olivet. In addition, McFarland was one of seven Thunder players to record a forced fumble.
Klepper, an exercise science major, garnered second-team Academic All-American status and caught 12 passes for 152 yards as a tight end. He ended the season tied for the team-lead in touchdowns with four and averaged 12.7 yards per catch. He posted a season-best 40-yard effort on two catches against Olivet in which both of his receptions were for a touchdowns. Klepper was part of an offense line that has helped lead Trine to being one of the top offenses in the country. In rushing alone, the Thunder ranked fourth nationally with 304.8 yards per game on the ground. Trine accumulated 400 yards or more of total offense in seven of the 11 games this season, including three games of 500 or more yards and a season-high 670 yards against Lakeland which was the third highest total in a single-game in program history.
Thirty-four of the 51 members of the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Division III Football teams have at least a 3.90 GPA, with 12 student-athletes maintaining a perfect 4.00 GPA. The 25 members of the first team have an average GPA of 3.93.