LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico State senior defensive lineman David Niumatalolo was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced, Thursday, Dec. 8.
"Being named an Academic All-American is very satisfying," Niumatalolo said. "I have always seen my time at New Mexico State, not only as an opportunity to try and make the NFL, but an opportunity to earn a quality degree. To get this award is satisfying to know that I have gone out and accomplished my goal."
A native of Kahuku, Hawai'i, Niumatalolo has a 4.0 G.P.A. in biology. He becomes the first Academic All-American on the NM State football team since 1999 and the first football player to earn first team honors since 1998. Niumatalolo is the 11th football player in school history to earn Academic All-American status.
"This brings recognition to our university," head coach DeWayne Walker said. "David definitely epitomizes what a student-athlete is all about and shows that you can be a great football player and student at the same time. We are very excited about him bringing some notoriety to our university."
This season, Niumatalolo played in 13 games for the Aggies recording 84 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three quarterback hurries, two fumble recovery, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble. He finished the season ranked sixth in the WAC in sacks per game. His seven sacks ranks as the sixth most in a single-season in school history.