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Trio of Tech Specialists Named Academic All-District

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech long snapper Henry Freer (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy), punter David Shanahan (Castleisland, Co. Kerry, Ireland/St. Patrick’s Secondary School) and place kicker Gavin Stewart (Savannah, Ga./Benedictine Military Academy) were all named to the College Sports Communicators 2023 football academic all-district team on Tuesday.

To earn academic all-district honors, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore academically and athletically, have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher (graduate students must have a 3.5 GPA in their undergraduate and graduate studies) and either play in 90% of his team’s games or start at least 66% of his team’s games that season.

In addition to being named academic all-district, both Freer and Shanahan are among a select group of all-district nominees that have advanced to the academic all-America ballot, based on their performance at an elite level on the field and in the classroom.

The first active football student-athlete to ever be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech, Freer was admitted to Tech’s Ph.D. program in chemical and biomolecular engineering (part of the No. 2-ranked chemical and biomolecular engineering program in the United States) after earning his bachelor’s degree in the same major in May. On the field, he started all 12 regular-season games in his second season as the Yellow Jackets’ long snapper, handling the duties on both field goals/PAT and punts. In 2022, he was named to the all-ACC academic team in recognition of his achievements on the field and in the classroom.

Shanahan, Tech’s three-year starting punter, majors in business administration. He is averaging 42.4 yards per punt this season, which would rank among the top 50 nationally, but his 42 attempts fall two shy of the minimum to qualify for official national rankings. His 31% of punts downed inside the opponent’s 20 yard line this season is a career high, and he is a two-time member of the all-ACC academic team.

Stewart, a semifinalist for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy (presented to college football’s premier student-athlete), earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia Tech in May and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in analytics. He is the Yellow Jackets’ primary kickoff specialist and has put 40 of his 62 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks this season (64.5%).

The trio of academic all-district honorees has helped contribute to Georgia Tech putting together a 6-6 overall record this season, collecting two wins over nationally ranked opponents and earning its first bowl berth since 2018. With a 5-3 conference record, the Yellow Jackets finished in a tie for fourth in the final ACC standings after being picked to finish 12th in the 14-team league in conference’s preseason poll.

The Yellow Jackets conclude their season on Friday, Dec. 22 at the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Fla. versus UCF. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Georgia Tech’s allotment of Gasparilla Bowl tickets is sold out, but tickets can still be purchased directly through the Gasparilla Bowl website at gasparillabowl.com/tickets.

Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again for Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. Initially launched on Nov. 7, CDI Turn 2 has reached its initial goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund and has a new goal of raising $3 million in new gifts to the A-T Fund by Dec. 31. Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics and, like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

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