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DGKN staff report
A Dalton graduate has been chosen as one of four student-athletes named to the 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III Football teams, as selected by the nation’s athletic communications directors, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology news release.
For the first time in program history, the MIT football team has four student-athletes as honorees. MIT now has 369 all-time Academic All-America selections, which leads all divisions. This is also the second time in MIT football history and first time since 1997-98 that the Engineers have three First Team honorees.
Senior offensive lineman Nathan Basinger (Dalton, Ohio), senior linebacker Paul Calvetti (Ridgewood, N.J.) and graduate student wide receiver Ben Dwyer (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) were each named to the First Team, while senior offensive lineman Ryan Nall (Lafayette, Calif.) earned a spot on the Second Team, according to the news release.
Basinger is one of 17 repeat performers as he also earned a spot on the First Team in the 2020 season. A mechanical engineering major with a 4.9 overall GPA on MIT’s 5.0 grading scale, he is a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, as well as a two-time NEWMAC First Team All-Conference offensive lineman.
Calvetti, who is a first-time AAA selection, is a computer science and electrical engineering major who boasts a 4.9 cumulative GPA. A D3football.com First Team All-Region selection, he was also named to the New England Football Writers Association Division II/III All-New England Team and was tabbed as the NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Year. A First Team All-Conference and Academic All-Conference performer, he posted 10 double-digit tackle games and finished with a NEWMAC single-game season-best 22 tackles in a loss to Springfield on November 6. Calvetti also led the league in total tackles (104), solo tackles (56) and tackles per game (11.6). He was also second in assisted tackles at 48 while adding one sack for three yards to go along with one fumble recovery.
Dwyer, a first-time AAA honoree, owns a perfect 5.0 GPA as a computer science and neuroscience major. A three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree and a first-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, he was also a NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honoree as a wide receiver. Dwyer led the Engineers with 41 receptions for 646 yards and seven touchdowns and was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week after a career-high nine-catch, 224-yard game midway through the season in a road matchup at Merchant Marine.
Nall, a mechanical engineering major who has a 4.9 cumulative GPA, is a first-time selection to the Academic All-American Team. Named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for the second time in his career, he was a NEWMAC First Team All-Conference performer after being named to the Second Team in 2019. A three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection, Nall has started his last two seasons on the offensive line and developed into one of the top tackles in the region.
Twenty-six of the 51 members of the 2021 Academic All-America Division III Football teams have at least a 3.90 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), with nine student-athletes maintaining a perfect 4.00 GPA. The 26 members of the first team combine for a 3.86 GPA.
The Division III Academic All-America program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division III national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2021-22 Division III Academic All-America teams program.