December 4, 2012

Prep teammates named to Academic All-America squad

The postseason awards continue to roll in for Denison University seniors and Upper Arlington natives, Nat Kell and Braden Layer.  After receiving Academic All-District distinction just under a month ago, it was announced today that the two former high school teammates have been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America squad for Division III.

For Kell, this marked his second-straight Academic All-America award.  In 2011, the defensive tackle was named to the second-team.  This season, he was one of four defensive linemen to earn first-team Academic All-America status.

This is the first Academic All-America award for Layer, who returned to Denison for a fifth-year after receiving a medical hardship from the NCAA.  Layer was one of just four wide receivers in the nation to earn Academic All-America distinction while being named second-team.

Kell started nine games this season and recorded 24 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and five sacks.  In 39 career games, the computer science and mathematics double major racked up 114 tackles, 15 sacks, and 33 tackles for a loss.  He becomes the 64th Academic All-American from Denison and is the 13th individual in school history to win the award on multiple occasions. He was a national semifinalist for the prestigious National Football Foundation Fellowship and is the son of James and Nancy Kell of Upper Arlington, Ohio.

An economics and communication double major, Layer was Denison's top receiver in 2012.  He recorded 57 receptions for a team-high 770 yards and six touchdowns this season.  Layer was granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA after he missed the final seven games of the 2009 season with an injury.  Layer began the 2009 season as the team's starting quarterback.  When he returned in 2010, Layer made the move to wide receiver where he instantly became one of the most sure-handed pass catching threats in the North Coast Athletic Conference. 

In just over two and a half seasons at receiver, Layer totaled 122 receptions for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns.  He leaves DU ranked fifth in career receiving yards and was a first-team All-NCAC selection this season.  He is the 65th Academic All-America selection from Denison and the third winner this fall.  Braden is the son of Derrick and Kristi Layer of Upper Arlington, Ohio.

Created in 1952 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the Capital One Academic All-America Teams Program is a premier, nationwide college scholar-athlete awards program. It recognizes over 800 outstanding student-athletes annually in Division I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.