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Four Football Student-Athletes Recognized

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: April 30, 2014
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Four Ball State football student-athletes – Joel Cox, Zane Fakes, Joseph Fazio and Connor Ryan – were selected to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame 2014 Honor Society.

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions who maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average or better, were a starter or significant contributor and completed their final year of eligibility.

Cox completed his career by starting all 13 games at defensive tackle for the Cardinals.  With an innate ability to block kicks, Cox recorded his sixth career blocked kick in 2013 when he blocked an extra point attempt at Eastern Michigan.  He managed a career high six tackles in three separate games last season plus managed four tackles and his first career fumble recovery at Virginia.  Cox owns a 3.593 GPA on Ball State’s 4.0 scale as a business major.

Fakes, who earned his bachelor’s degree prior to the 2013 season and spent last season working toward a master’s degree, was a Campbell Trophy Semifinalist as the NFF’s top scholar-athlete in football.  A 2013 Capital One Academic All-American, Fakes earned Academic All-Mid-American Conference and All-MAC honors his last two seasons.  He started 40 games in his career and was on the 2013 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List.  Fakes completed his career with a 3.687 GPA in graduate school.

Fazio owns a 3.769 GPA as a finance major for the Cardinals and received the team’s Gene Booker Academic Award.  He played in 13 games, including the GoDaddy Bowl, and managed a career high four tackles at Eastern Michigan.  Fazio played in every game in his last two seasons at Ball State.

Ryan, who owns a 3.384 GPA as a financial analysis major, played 12 games for the Cardinals this season.  He tallied 78 catches in his career for 669 yards and five touchdowns.  Ryan played in 42 games in his career and was a two-time team captains for Ball State.

Ball State finished the 2013 season with a 10-3 overall record and an appearance in the GoDaddy Bowl.  The Cardinals finished second in the MAC West Division with a 7-1 mark.  Ball State will open the 2014 season Sat., Aug. 30 vs. Colgate at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Ind.

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