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BYU Football’s James Empey, Keenan Pili Earn Honors For Academic Success

Jun 22, 2021, 11:03 AM
BYU Football - James Empey - Keenan Pili...
BYU Football players James Empey (left) and Keenan Pili (right) were named to the CoSIDA All-District Academic First-Team. (Photos courtesy of Deseret News)
(Photos courtesy of Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Two BYU football players were named to the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Team.

Those players are center James Empey and linebacker Keenan Pili. Both guys are standouts on the field for BYU, but they also show they are stars in the classroom as well.

Empey and Pili were both named to the District 8 First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). District 8 covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Utah, Washington, and Canada.

What is the CoSIDA All-District team?

The CoSIDA All-District awards recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. Student-athletes must be a starter or significant contributor and maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA to be eligible for the recognition.

Empey and Pili are leaders for BYU Football

James Empey, a finance major, holds a 3.84 GPA and has been a three-year starter for the Cougars at the center position.

Keenan Pili burst onto the scene in 2020, recording 72 tackles, and was the Boca Raton Bowl Defensive MVP. Pili has a 3.50 GPA as an exercise science/premed major.

Both Empey and Pili return to BYU for the 2021 season and will be looked upon to be some of the offense and defense leaders, respectively.

Earning first-team Academic All-District honors advances Empey and Pili to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot. First- and second-team All-America recipients will be announced in early July.

Notables away from BYU in the District 8 First Team include USC QB Kedon Slovis, Utah WR Britain Covey, and Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football’s James Empey, Keenan Pili Earn Honors For Academic Success