Ty Reasnor: Academic All-America of the Year

The south doors of the Hull Physical Education Building swung open. Ty Reasnor walked through the Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field gates and was greeted by the familiar game day sights and sounds from a life in football.

But this time, something was different.

“I knew I was at home,” said Reasnor, reflecting on the September Thursday night in 2016 when he played his first game as quarterback at Arkansas Tech University. “It sent chills down my back. I knew this was going to be my home forever and a place I could always come back to.”

That sense of belonging, combined with Reasnor’s acumen on the football field and in the classroom, created an environment that allowed him to become the top student-athlete in NCAA Division II football. He was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as the 2017 Academic All-America of the Year for Division II.

Reasnor is majoring in mechanical engineering and has a 4.0 grade point average. A product of Cashion, Okla., he began his collegiate career at Emporia State University (Kan.) and transferred to play his final two seasons at Arkansas Tech.

After signing with Tech in late July 2016, Reasnor started the first four games of his initial season with the Wonder Boys. He passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-31 win over the University of Arkansas-Monticello on Sept. 17, 2016. One week later, he suffered a season-ending injury during a game at Southern Arkansas University.

Despite the injury, Reasnor remained a vocal and active leader on the sideline and in the locker room.

“When a group of coaches and a group of teammates brings you in the way they brought me in, there wasn’t any other option,” said Reasnor when asked about his choice to maintain his leadership role after the injury. “I didn’t even think twice about it. They made me a part of their family, and they were just as much a part of mine. There was no second guessing about how I was going to react to the adversity that had hit me. They were there for me through my injury, so I had to be there for them throughout the rest of the year in any way that I could. That was just my way to contribute. I wasn’t able to throw touchdowns, but hopefully I was able to boost some guys’ morale.”

Reasnor more than made up for lost time in 2017.

His play during his senior season helped the Wonder Boys compile an 8-4 overall record, finish tied for second in the Great American Conference standings and earn a berth in the 2017 Agent Barry Live United Bowl under the direction of head coach Raymond Monica.

Reasnor completed 203-of-326 pass attempts for 2,483 yards with 21 touchdown passes and five interceptions during fall 2017. His 62.3 percent completion rate is the highest single-season completion percentage in ATU football history. Reasnor’s accuracy in 2017 was further underscored by the fact that he went 213 consecutive pass attempts without an interception at one point during the season.

His 2017 figures also placed him among Tech’s all-time, single-season leaders in touchdown passes (4th) passing yardage (5th).

“I’ve always taken pride in what I’ve done in the classroom,” said Reasnor, who plans on applying to medical school after completing his degree at ATU in December 2018. “That’s ultimately why I’m going to college. Everybody wants to play college football, but you have to think about your future. Getting a good degree and doing well in my classes was my main focus while I was here. It was really good to have a good year for the team and the program on the field. This award was a pat on the back for me that all of that hard work over those years is paying off, and hopefully it will continue to do so in the future.”

Photographed: Raymond Monica (left), head football coach at Arkansas Tech, and Paul Smith (right), associate director of athletics and director of athletic communications at Arkansas Tech, presented Ty Reasnor with his 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America of the Year award during a recent home basketball game at Tucker Coliseum.