Published: December 5, 2018

Six From Football Named Google Cloud Academic All-District

This story appeared on November 15, 2018, on the RPI Athletics website ( It was reprinted with permission from RPI Associate Athletic Director Kevin Beattie. The story features Brendan Zotti (Delta/RPI 2019).

TROY, N.Y. - Six Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athletes have been selected to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District 3 Division III Football Team, selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). George Marinopoulos, Cole Valinoti, Jack Hoggard, Luke Watanabe, Brendan Zotti and Zac Montrief are each first-time honorees and are all now eligible for Google Cloud National Academic All-America consideration, for which first-, second- and third teams will be selected.

George Marinopoulos (So., QB, Slingerlands, NY / Guilderland)
Business & Management (3.75)
  • Career record is 13-2 as starter ... 2017: School record for single season completion percentage (64.2%) ... Liberty League Rookie of the Week 2x ... ECAC North Rookie of the Week 1x ... Team's Rookie of the Year ... Team's Leadership Council ... Dean's List ... Liberty League All-Academic ... National Society of Leadership and Success (RPI Chapter).
Cole Valinoti (Sr., DL, St. James, NY / Smithtown East)
Business & Management (3.41)
  • Defensive End ... 2017: Had 20 tackles (12 solos) ... Multiple tackles in five games, with season-high seven once ... Liberty League All-Academic ... Dean's List ... ECAC Academic Honor Roll ... Team's Defensive Player of the Week 1x ... Team's Special Teams WAR Dog of Year as freshman ... Accepted into Rensselaer's Co-Terminal Program for MBA.
Jack Hoggard (Sr., LB, Acton, MA / Acton-Boxborough)
Business & Management (3.60)
  • Captain ... All-Liberty League First Team ... All-Liberty League Second Team as junior … Liberty League All-Academic ... Dean's List ... ECAC President's Honor Roll ... General Psychology Teaching Assistant ... Epsilon Delta Sigma Management Honor Society ... Experience with Gallant Insurance ... Experience with Northwestern Mutual ... Interned at UtiliPlan Consulting Group.
Luke Watanabe (Sr., DB, Issaquah, WA / Issaquah)
Computer & Systems Engineering / Computer Science (3.76)
  • Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week 1x ... All-Liberty League First Team ... 2017: Had 26 tackles ... 2016: Had 27 tackles ... Founders Award of Excellence ... Computer Science tutor ... Software Development Engineering Intern at Amazon ... Technology Development Intern at Optum ... Joseph's House in Troy volunteer ... Will work for BAE Systems in Engineering Leadership Development Program while obtaining Master's degree.
Brendan Zotti (Sr., DB, Newington, CT / Newington)
Mechanical Engineering (3.57)
  • Safety ... Team's Leadership Council ... Engineering Internship, F135 Program at Pratt & Whitney in 2017 and 2018 ... Theta Chi Fraternity "Scholarship Chair" & "Philanthropy Chair" ... Organized event and raised over $10,000 for St. Baldrick's Foundation ... "Standards Board" ... "Be the Match" volunteer ... "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" participant.
Zac Montrief (So., P, Suwanee, GA / Mountain View)
Aeronautical Engineering (3.59)
  • Leads Liberty League in punting average (38.8) … All-Liberty League First Team ... Liberty League Special Teams Performer of the Week 1x ... 2017: 45 punts for 1606 yards ... Had 16 inside 20 yard line ... Liberty League Special Teams Performer of the Week 1x ... All-Liberty League Honorable Mention ... Team's Leadership Council ... Liberty League All-Academic ... Dean's Honor List ... Flying Club.

All six student-athletes have helped the Engineers to an 8-1 overall record, a league-best 4-1 mark and a berth into the NCAA Tournament - all for the second consecutive season. Rensselaer, which is coached by Ralph Isernia, hosts Husson University (8-2; 6-0 ECFC) in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs on Saturday at noon.

This season marks the fifth straight post-season appearance for RPI, which qualified for ECAC Bowls in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

You may view the original story by clicking here.