Demons’ Zirkle named to FCS ADA Academic All-Star; finalist for postgraduate scholarship

Northwestern State offensive lineman Chris Zirkle’s post-career awards list continues to grow.

Zirkle, a three-time Academic All-Southland Conference and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, was one of four Southland Conference players named to the 53-man Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association 22nd annual Academic All-Star Team announced Friday.

Additionally, Zirkle was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 19th annual FCS ADA Postgraduate Scholarship, two $5,000 awards that will be announced in June. Joining Zirkle among the finalists for the postgraduate scholarships are North Dakota State tight end Ben Ellefson, Abilene Christian wide receiver Josh Fink, Towson quarterback Tom Flacco, Alabama State running back Ezra Gray, Harvard defensive lineman Brogan McPartland, Montana linebacker Dante Olson, Bucknell punter Alex Pechin, Dayton tight end Adam Trautman and Houston Baptist defensive lineman Andre Walker.

Zirkle, Fink, Walker and Abilene Christian quarterback Luke Anthony were the Southland Conference representatives on the all-star team, which included players from 42 schools.

Players from all FCS institutions are eligible for the team but must have at least a 3.2 grade point average and have been a starter or a key player with legitimate athletics credentials.

Zirkle played the 2019 season as a graduate student, starting all 12 games and earning second-team All-Southland Conference honors on the field. He graduated in December 2018 with a 3.83 grade point average in business administration and holds a 4.0 grade point average while pursuing a master’s degree in homeland security. He finished with 39 career starts, including the final 16 after returning from a shoulder injury with four games remaining in the 2018 season.

A League City, Texas, native, Zirkle was a finalist for the Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award presented by STATS FCS and was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Prior to the 2019 season, Zirkle was nominated for the AFCA Allstate Good Works Team.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services