CHARLOTTE, N.C. — University of North Alabama defensive back K.J. Smith of Perry, Ga., has been named the 2019-20 Big South Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Scholar-Athletes of the Year are voted on by the Big South Sports Information Directors from a pool of each sport's Scholar-Athlete winner.
High Point women's basketball guard Camryn Brown (Copley, Ohio) was named Big South Conference Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Smith is just the third football student-athlete in Big South history to be voted the Big South Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Selected first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America® this past season, Smith was a national finalist for the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He graduated this spring with a 4.00 GPA while earning a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Health.
A two-year starter at UNA, Smith finished fifth on the squad with 54 tackles in 2019 and two interceptions, eight pass break-ups and one forced fumble. He tallied 32 solo stops and had 1.5 tackles-for-loss. He was UNA's first Division I Academic All-America® selection in any sport since the Lions began their transition in 2018.
The Big South Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year are selected from a pool of each sport's Scholar-Athlete of the Year winners announced during the regular season. In the voting on the men's side, Smith finished with 39 points (four first-place votes), ahead of Winthrop golfer Zak Butt (33 points, three first-place votes) and Campbell soccer player Gideon Betz (25 points, two first-place votes).
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