Hope College senior Brandon Graham of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) not only excelled on the football gridiron, but is now being recognized for his performance in the classroom.
Graham has been named a GTE second team football Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA).
Announcement of the award comes during a week when Graham is to be honored for his football prowess as well.
On Wednesday (Dec. 10) he'll be honored as Michigan's NCAA Division III football player of the year by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Graham is also a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy as the nation's top Division III football player. The winner of that award will be announced Thursday (Dec. 11) in Salem, Virginia in conjunction with the Amos Alonzo Stagg national championship Division III game.
Graham, a kinesiology major with a grade point average of 3.40, becomes Hope's ninth football Academic All-American and the first since 1986. He joins a growing number of Hope student-athletes to achieve GTE Academic All-American recognition, a list that now totals 27 since 1979.
This season Graham led the Flying Dutchmen to a co-championship of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). He became the first Hope football player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons and the first player in modern day conference history to lead the league in rushing three times.
He was voted the most valuable offensive player in the MIAA and the Hope coaching staff presented him the Allen Kinney award for overall contribution to the football program.
Graham rewrote the Hope record book, finishing with 4,362 yards rushing and scoring 49 touchdowns. He rushed for 100 yards or more in every game this season and in 21 of 25 games as a starter.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William (Kathleen) Graham of Hudsonville.
Graham is the only MIAA athlete named a GTE football Academic All-American. Also honored on the second team is Ferris State senior linebacker Jeff Fisher.
Past football honorees from Hope include Craig Groendyk (1979), Greg Bekius (1980), Paul Damon (1980), Mark Spencer (1980 and 1981), Kurt Brinks (1982), Scott Jecmen (1984), Tim Chase (1986) and Dan Stid (1986).