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Amherst College > Athletics > Football > Whiting, Ladd Named Academic All-America
Fletcher Ladd '05
Ladd is just 236 yards shy of the college’s all-time rushing record of 2,916, held by Josh Mason ’97.

Whiting, Ladd Earn Academic All-America Honors

December 2, 2003

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College placed two players - senior quad-captain defensive back Paul Whiting (Mission Viejo, CA/Mission Viejo) and junior quad-captain tailback Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH/Souhegan) - on the 2003 College Division Academic All-America Football Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Tuesday. Whiting, a first-team selection, and Ladd, a second-team pick, were the only players from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) to earn Academic All-America honors.

Whiting, an Academic All-NESCAC pick and a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, was a First-Team All-NESCAC defensive back, captaining a defense that registered a conference record four shutouts in its first five games. Whiting logged a team-high six solo tackles with a fumble recovery and an interception in a 34-0 win at Bates, tallied seven tackles in a 21-0 win over Bowdoin and finished the season with 25 tackles and a team-high three interceptions, one of which came with a cast on his broken left wrist in Amherst’s season finale at Williams. He was a finalist for the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame National Scholar Athlete Award, is a national nominee for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bobby Bowdon Award and was the first non-Division I recipient of the College Sports Television (CSTV) National Student-Athlete of the Month Award, which was announced November 24 and aired on CSTV.

During the preseason, Whiting was one of just 11 players from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III and the NAIA and the only player from the NESCAC named to the 12th Annual American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, which honors college football players across the country for their dedication and commitment to community service. As a junior, he earned the college’s prestigious Samuel Walley Brown Scholarship, presented annually to one class member in recognition of scholarship and citizenship. That season Whiting logged 39 tackles, finished third on the team with 27 solo takedowns and tied for second with two interceptions, adding five pass breakups and a fumble recovery. As a sophomore, Whiting finished ninth on the team with 31 tackles and posted a career-high 10 takedowns, including nine unassisted, in a 23-0 shutout win over Little Three rival Wesleyan.

A three-sport athlete, Whiting has made his mark on the baseball diamond as well, finishing second in the conference with 15 stolen bases (in 19 attempts) and posting a .969 fielding percentage - committing just two errors in 63 chances - en route to Second-Team All-NESCAC honors. He is also an ECAC qualifier in the triple jump and a school-record holder in the 4x200-meter relay on the indoor track team.

In his “spare time” Whiting serves with four other students and a faculty advisor on the Amherst Christian Fellowship Leadership Team, meeting weekly to plan and carry out events, such as the Fellowship’s participation in Operation Christmas Child, an international project run by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Through Operation Christmas Child, the Amherst Christian Fellowship collected shoeboxes full of toys and shipped them to needy children across the globe.

He’s also a student leader for Athletes in Action, organizing weekly small group Bible study for athletes on campus, and is active at the First Baptist Church of Amherst, where he participates in weekly Bible study and, on several occasions, has taken an active role in preparing lunch for the entire congregation and visitors to the church.

Whiting spends Saturdays and Sundays cooking, serving and eating meals with homeless people and low-income families at Not Bread Alone, a soup kitchen in Amherst, and has taken part in Shoes That Fit, a local community service organization that matches needy children with gifts during the holiday season.

A neuroscience major, Whiting plans on enrolling in medical school next year. He spent the past summer interning as a scribe in the emergency department at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., where he learned the proper procedures for writing medical charts and observed procedures performed elsewhere in the hospital. He spent the previous summer as a research intern at the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., where he learned basic molecular biology laboratory techniques and assisted graduate and postdoctoral students in their research. During the summer of 2001, Whiting worked as an observer/translator in the Department of Neurology at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Irvine, Calif., shadowing attending neurologists and other residents, observing various procedures and translating for Spanish-speaking patients at a weekly outpatient Epilepsy clinic.

Ladd, who majors in English and psychology, began the year as a Second-Team Preseason All-America and went on to earn All-NESCAC honors for the third straight season and CoSIDA Academic All-District plaudits for the second consecutive year. He was tabbed NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week with 166 rushing yards, including a school-record 90-yard touchdown run, in Amherst’s season-opening 34-0 win at Bates. He then pierced the career 2,000-yard rushing plateau with a 21-yard run against Bowdoin and finished the season second in the NESCAC in rushing (111.8 ypg) and rushing touchdowns (7), third in rushing touchdowns (7), fourth in overall scoring (5.2 ppg), fourth in scoring (TDs) (5.2 ppg), fifth in all-purpose yards (120.9 ypg) and ninth in total offense (114.1 ypg). With 2,680 career rushing yards, Ladd is just 236 yards shy of the college’s all-time record of 2,916, held by Josh Mason ’97.

Also a Second-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star and Team MVP as a junior, Ladd finished second in the conference and 10th in the nation with 1,148 rushing yards on 236 carries (143.5 ypg) in 2002, falling just 72 yards shy of the Amherst single-season record and just 145 yards shy of the NESCAC single-season mark. As a rookie, he finished second in the conference in rushing touchdowns (7) and seventh in rushing average (79.8 ypg), leading Amherst with 638 rushing yards on 116 carries.