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Seven Jackets Earn Spots on All-ACC Academic Football Team

THE FLATS – Seven Georgia Tech football scholar-athletes – OL Ryan Johnson (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy), LS Cade Long (Hixson, Tenn./Baylor School), WR Kyric McGowan (Dalton, Ga./Dalton), OL Mikey Minihan (Honolulu, Hawai’i/Saint Louis), P David Shanahan (Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Ireland/St. Patrick’s Secondary School), QB Jeff Sims (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) and DB Tre Swilling (New Orleans, La./Brother Martin) – were named to the 2021 all-Atlantic Coast Conference academic team for football, the ACC announced on Tuesday.


Tech’s seven representatives are its third-most in the 42-year history of the all-ACC academic team (eight Yellow Jackets earned the recognition in 2003 and 2018).

To be considered for selection to the all-ACC academic team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and 3.0 GPA in his most recently completed semester. For student-athletes that meet the minimum requirements, primary consideration for selection to the team is accorded to the student-athlete’s athletic accomplishments during the recently completed season.

The Yellow Jackets’ seven honorees combined to make 74 starts in 2021, including 12 apiece for Johnson and Minihan. McGowan caught seven touchdowns passes in 11 games (tied for the seventh-most in Georgia Tech history), Sims accounted for 1,840 yards (1,468 passing, 372 rushing) and 16 touchdowns despite being limited to just six starts due to injury and Swilling recorded 33 tackles and four pass breakups in 11 contests. Shanahan and Long were stalwarts for the Jackets on special teams, with Shanahan taking every punt for Tech as a true freshman (averaging 41.5 yards per kick) and Long handling long snaps and making four tackles over the course of the season.

Academically, four of the Jackets’ seven honorees (Johnson, McGowan, Minihan and Swilling) had already received their undergraduate degrees and were in graduate studies during the 2021 season. Johnson earned his master’s degree in analytics from Georgia Tech in December, his third college degree in six years (he previously earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in structural engineering from Tennessee).

Of the three undergraduates, Long received his bachelor’s degree from Tech in December, while Sims and Shanahan are a sophomore and freshman in the classroom, respectively.

Johnson and Swilling became two-time all-ACC academic team members, with Johnson also earning the honor in 2020 and Swilling in 2019.

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