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Brandon Arconado becomes first Washington State first-team Academic All-American since 2010

Washington State wide receiver Brandon Arconado became the first Cougar to make the Academic All-America First Team since Chima Nwachukwu earned first-team honors in 2010, becoming the first WSU player to do so since Jason Hanson in 1991. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Brandon Arconado’s standout senior year at Washington State wasn’t limited to huge catches and key plays on the field for the Cougars.

The redshirt senior wide receiver was named Monday to the Academic All-America first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), a distinction given to only 25 football players across all three NCAA divisions. Twenty-five more players are named to the second team.

Arconado has a 3.65 GPA and already owns a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. A fifth-year senior, he’s currently working toward his master’s degree in business administration. This is the first All-America honor for Arconado, but he’s twice been named to the Pac-12’s All-Academic team, earning second-team recognition last season and honorable mention in 2017.

“Brandon is awesome, exactly the kind of student-athlete you root for,” saud WSU Faculty Athletic Representative Nancy Swanger, who also serves as associate dean and director of WSU’s College Carson of Business. “He strives for excellence in all that he does and is a great ambassador for Washington State University. Brandon should take pride in this tremendous accomplishment.”

It’s been nine years since WSU last had a football Academic All-American selection. Chima Nwachukwu earned first-team honors in 2010, becoming the first WSU player to do so since Jason Hanson in 1991.

Arconado is also one of only two Pac-12 football players to make the first team, joining Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Ducks offensive tackle Calvin Throckmorton was the only Pac-12 player on the second team.

Arconado, a Chino Hills, California, native, broke out on the field for WSU this year, earning a starting role at “Y” receiver and leading the Pac-12 with six 100-yard receiving games, which was also second-most in school single-season history. Even though he missed two full games and parts of three others due to injury, the slot receiver managed to finish seventh in the conference with 67 catches and fourth with 947 receiving yards, also a team-high. Arconado leads the team with 14.5 yards per catch and has caught six touchdown passes.