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Top 70 MAC Football Players: #41 Jordan Italiano (SS- Kent State Golden Flashes)

The smartest man on the field at all times.

David Dermer (Kent State Athletics)

Whoever said "football players are dumb," is dumb. If not that, then he or she just never heard of Jordan Italiano. The senior safety is a three time Academic All-America player with First Team selections the last two seasons. He carries a cumulative 3.98 GPA and has tabbed him as the smartest player in college football. Having shown "exemplary community service" during his time in college, Italiano is nominee for the All-State AFCA Good Works Team this year.

This nerd is pretty good at football too.

For his career, Italiano has recorded 195 tackles (103 solo, 5.5 for loss), with four interceptions, five forced fumbles, four pass breakups. Phil Steele and Athlon Sports both have expectations for Italiano to be a Second Team All-MAC performer. Last year, the team captain was able to grab three interceptions, including a key pick against the rivaled Akron Zips in their final drive of the game to seal the come-from-behind victory to win the Wagon Wheel for the second time of his career. He was also the first record an interception against the Northern Illinois Huskies on October 4, which was actually his third game in a row with a turnover after a fumble recovery against Ohio State and a forced fumble against Virginia. All three turnovers were on the road.

Italiano had four games with at least ten tackles last year, including a career-high 16 (nine solo) on the road against the Bowling Green Falcons, after only having two 10-or-more-tackle performances in seasons prior. 96 tackles in total as a junior (48 solo), Italiano's 8.7 tackles per game was good to be eighth in the MAC and 56th in the nation.

With Italiano's presence and leadership, Kent State could end up with one of the more threatening secondaries in the conference, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise since the Flashes had the best passing defense in the MAC in 2014.