LEXINGTON, Va. – Senior defensive lineman Zach Baker (Roanoke, Va.) and sophomore defensive back AJ Smith (Virginia Beach, Va.) were named to the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 squad in an announcement made Thursday.
Baker, who returned for a redshirt senior season, holds a 3.84 GPA in Civil Engineering while Smith has a 3.91 GPA in Mechanical Engineering.
Both have been top performers for a young VMI defense that had to replace six starters from a year ago.
Baker has started 16 straight games and leads Keydet defensive linemen in total tackles with 35 stops and is second in tackles-for-loss with 5.5 for 14 yards. He posted a career-high eight tackles at Western Carolina September 22 and followed with seven tackles against The Citadel on October 20.
Smith has made 17 career starts in the Keydet secondary and currently tops the defensive charts with 49 solo stops 81 tackles. He has six games in 2018 with nine or more total tackles and is tied for ninth in the SoCon with 8.1 tackles per game.
District 3 consists of colleges and universities from Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Baker and Smith will go on the national ballot for Google Cloud Academic All-America which will be announced in early December.