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SOU’s Laolagi makes CoSIDA Academic All-America team

ASHLAND — The Southern Oregon University football team has its first Academic All-American since 2003 in Tua Laolagi, who was named a first-team selection Friday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Laolagi, a senior defensive lineman from South Bay, Calif., is the fourth individual in team history and 17th student-athlete at SOU in any sport to land on a CoSIDA Academic All-America team. The psychology major recently completed his fourth year with the Raiders and boasts a 3.7 cumulative GPA.

Laolagi was one of 28 football players recognized at the NAIA level for a combination of their athletic and academic performances.

This fall he was No. 6 on the Frontier Conference leaderboard and 40th in the NAIA with 6 ½ sacks. He recorded one in each of the first four games of the season and was credited with two on Nov. 6 at Carroll, where he totaled a career-high 10 tackles.

Laolagi’s season totals of 48 tackles and nine tackles for losses were also career-bests. In three seasons of competition he finished with 65 tackles, 13 for losses and 10 ½ sacks.

Laolagi helped SOU’s defense hold opponents to 23.7 points per game. They kept three straight opponents to 20 or fewer points to end the season for just the second time since entering the Frontier Conference.

The Raider football team’s only previous CoSIDA Academic All-America honorees were Carl Gordon (1981), Ian Reid (1997) and Garret Gelker (2003).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSOU's Tua Laolagi stops Eastern Oregon's Jordan Eggers for a loss during the third quarter of their game this fall.