NEW YORK – Three Columbia defensive standouts earned a spot on the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District 2010 Football Team, it was announced on Thursday.  Seniors Alex Gross, Adam Mehrer and Matt Stotler each were recognized for their academic success and their accomplishments on the gridiron.

Named one of 16 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athletes last week, Alex Gross is one of the premier football scholar-athletes in the country. 

Gross has had an outstanding season for the Lions at linebacker, leading the Ivy League in total tackles and solo tackles.  He is one of 10 Ivy Leaguers with at least two interceptions.  He also has three tackles for a loss, a quarterback sack, three passes defended and a forced fumble to his credit.  Meanwhile, Gross carries a 3.55 grade point average and is on pace to graduate from Columbia College in May 2011 with a degree in sociology.

Adam Mehrer has had an equally impactful season in the Columbia defensive backfield.  Mehrer is second on the team in tackles and has made 32 solo stops this season. 

In last week's game at Yale, Mehrer picked off a pass and forced a fumble on two Yale possessions in the fourth quarter.  Two pass breakups, three passes defended and a fumble recovery are also included in his stat line this season.  Mehrer, who sports a 3.47 grade point average, is on track to graduate from Columbia College in May with a degree in economics.

In his first full season as a starter along Columbia's defensive line, Matt Stotler has made his presence known.  In seven starts, Stotler has made 15 tackles, including two for a loss.  He also has recorded a quarterback sack. 

A winner of the National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete Award in the Eastern Region when he entered Columbia, Stotler holds a 3.37 grade point average.  He is slated to graduate from Columbia College in May with a history degree.

Nominated student-athletes must be in their second full year at their institition and a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale). As members of the All-District first team, Gross, Mehrer and Stotler wil be placed on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.

Columbia is back in action this Saturday, November 6 at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.  Kickoff is set for noon.