Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Football's John Crowther and Kyle Budinscak Named Academic All-District

Nov. 14, 2002

Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior snapper John Crowther and junior defensive end Kyle Budinscak were named today to the Verizon Academic All-District V football team, while sophomore linebacker Brandon Hoyte was named to the second-team. To be eligible, a player must be a starter or significant contributor, at least a sophomore academically, play in 75 percent of the team’s contests and have a 3.2 grade-point average or higher. It is the second time Crowther and Budinscak have won the award, and the first-such distinction for Hoyte. Both Crowther and Budinscak are now eligible for Academic All-America honors.

Crowther, from Edina, Minn., has played in all 10 games for the Irish this season as the snapper on field goals, PATs and punts. Crowther has been a key component in the success of Irish senior punter Joey Hildbold, a Ray Guy Award semifinalist, who is leading the nation with 25 kicks inside the 20-yard line and 10 inside the 10. Hildbold is also fifth in Notre Dame history averaging 40.6 yards a punt. Crowther also has been instrumental in the success of senior kicker Nicholas Setta, who set a Kickoff Classic and Notre Dame record with five field goals, including a career-high 51-yarder, against Maryland in the season opener. Enrolled in the MBA program after graduating in May with finance and computer applications degrees from the Mendoza College of Business, Crowther has a 3.7 grade-point average and has been on the Dean’s List seven of eight semesters at Notre Dame.

Budinscak, from Bridgewater, N.J., has started all 10 games helping the Irish to a 9-1 record and a No. 9 national ranking, The junior has recorded 17 tackles on the season, including six for loss and three sacks. Budinscak has been a key component on an Irish defense which as a unit is ranked ninth in the nation and fifth nationally in scoring defense giving up only 14.5 points a game. Enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business and majoring in finance, Budinscak has a 3.515 grade-point average and has been on the Dean’s List three of four semesters.

Hoyte, from Parlin, N.J., started the first two games of the season in place of an injured Courtney Watson, who is now a Butkus Award finalist. In those two games, Hoyte was Notre Dame’s leading tackler with 17 stops. He has since served in a back-up role to Watson and is currently sixth on the team with 45 tackles, including three for loss. A pre-professional major in the College of Arts and Letters, Hoyte has a 3.4 grade-point average.