National Football Foundation

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NFF Announces Outstanding List of Semifinalists for 2015 Campbell Trophy, College Football’s Premier Scholar-Athlete Award
135 of the nation’s top football players will vie for a share of $300,000 in postgraduate scholarships as candidates for the coveted 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®.
Published: 9/24/2015 10:54:00 AM
(Pictured: Ohio State center Jacoby Boren and Mississippi State defensive back Taveze Calhoun are among 135 outstanding semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.)
IRVING, Texas (Sept. 24, 2015) – Recognizing one of the most impressive groups of scholar-athletes in the history of college football, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) proudly announced today the 135 semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments® and prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

The NFF will announce 15 finalists on Oct. 29, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared in dramatic fashion the winner of the 26th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

“These 135 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”

Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11 million.

“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates.”

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.


  • 135 Nominations
  • 56th Year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program
  • 3.60 Average GPA
  • 52 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better
  • 83 Team Captains
  • 59 All-Conference Picks
  • 24 Academic All-America Selections
  • 8 All-America Selections
  • 56 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
  • 23 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
  • 20 Nominees from NCAA Division II
  • 27 Nominees from NCAA Division III
  • 9 Nominees from the NAIA
  • 71 Offensive Players
  • 52 Defensive Players
  • 12 Special Teams Players

Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments, and it has recognized 804 outstanding individuals since its inception. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program’s prestige, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.

In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. In 2014, Fidelity Investments became the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF presents each of the faculty representatives with a plaque, and Fidelity donates $5,000 for the academic support services at each school.

The past recipients of the William V. Campbell Trophy include: Air Force’s Chris Howard (1990); Florida’s Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado’s Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia’s Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska’s Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State’s Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee’s Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia’s Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall’s Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska’s Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami (Fla.)’s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)’s Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State’s Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee’s Michael Munoz (2004); LSU’s Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers’ Brian Leonard (2006); Texas’ Dallas Griffin (2007); California’s Alex Mack (2008); Florida’s Tim Tebow (2009); Texas’ Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point’s Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama’s Barrett Jones (2012); Penn State’s John Urschel (2013); and Duke’s David Helton (2014).

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Candidates,
presented by Fidelity Investments

Alabama - Ryan Kelly Austin Peay - Adam Noble Albion (Mich.) - Mike Czarnecki
Arizona - Casey Skowron Brown - Brian Strachan Albright (Pa.) - Colton Ryan
Arizona State - Mike Bercovici Bucknell - Matt DelMauro Amherst (Mass.) - Christopher Gow
Arkansas - Brandon Allen Campbell - Hunter Somerville Bethel (Minn.) - Matt Mehlhorn
Army West Point - Matt Giachinta The Citadel - Brandon Eakins Bridgewater (Va.) - Sean Douglass
Auburn - Jonathan Wallace Dartmouth - Ryan McManus DePauw (Ind.) - Adam Folta
Ball State - Jacob Richard Dayton - Danny Leach Dubuque (Iowa) - Blaine Snitker
Baylor - Spencer Drango Harvard - Cole Toner Gettysburg (Pa.) - Kodie McNamara
Boise State - Jake Hardee Holy Cross - Matt Byaha Grinnell (Iowa) - Jacob Beecher
Bowling Green - Tyler Tate Idaho State - Cody Sorensen Johns Hopkins (Md.) - Rowan Cade
Buffalo - Tyler Grassman Lamar - Logan Moss Kenyon (Ohio) - Alex Oles
Central Florida - Joey Grant Marist - John Brennan Lake Forest (Ill.) - George Vidas
Central Michigan - Nick Beamish Montana - Derek Crittenden  Lycoming (Pa.) - Ryan Umpleby
Colorado - Nelson Spruce New Hampshire - Daniel Rowe Maine Maritime - John Doyon
Duke - Ross Martin Nicholls State - Michael Henry Manchester (Ind.) - Logan Haston
Fresno State - Justin Northern Northern Iowa - Isaac Ales Massachusetts Instit. of Tech. - Nathan Varady
Georgia - Jake Ganus Princeton - Matt Arends Moravian (Pa.) - Anthony Orlando
Georgia Southern - Matt Dobson Robert Morris - Nick Faraci Mount Union (Ohio) - Hank Spencer
Georgia State - Nick Arbuckle Southern Illinois - Mark Iannotti Ohio Wesleyan - Cameron Pappa
Houston - Logan Piper Western Carolina - Darius Ramsey Rochester (N.Y.) - Matthew Mender
Indiana - Nate Sudfeld William & Mary - Andrew Weidinger Saint John's (Minn.) - Drake Matuska
Iowa - Jordan Lomax Yale - Morgan Roberts St. Thomas (Minn.) - David Simmet
Kansas State - Stanton Weber Youngstown State - Steve Zaborsky Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) - Daniel Lis
Kent State - Jordan Italiano Wisconsin-Oshkosh - Craig Schommer
Kentucky - Landon Foster Wisconsin-Stout - Collin Laursen
Louisiana-Lafayette - Evan Tatford DIVISION II Wisconsin-Whitewater - Joe Worth
Massachusetts - Blake Frohnapfel Ashland (Ohio) - Jon Cipa Wooster (Ohio) - Nick Flannery
Memphis - Micah Simmons Azusa Pacific (Calif.) - Na'im Colbert
Michigan - Desmond Morgan Bentley (Mass.) - Paul Norris
Michigan State - Jack Allen Colorado Mesa - Taylor Schultz NAIA
Middle Tennessee State - Jordan Parker Colorado State-Pueblo - Jake Ludwick Bethel (Tenn.) - Josh Wilson
Minnesota - Jon Christenson East Stroudsburg (Pa.) - Jon Schnaars Cumberland (Tenn.) - Cayman Russell
Mississippi State - Taveze Calhoun Eastern New Mexico - Jeremy Buurma Dakota State (S.D.) - Jason Grady
Navy - E.K. Binns Ferris State (Mich.) - Jason Vander Laan Doane (Neb.) - Garrett Borcher
Nevada - Jordan Dobrich Fort Lewis (Colo.) - Taylor Suta Faulkner (Ala.) - Elliott Graves
North Carolina State - Joseph Thuney Harding (Ark.) - Davis Hudson Kansas Wesleyan - Jacob Curran
North Texas - Jarrod Lynn Humboldt State (Calif.) - Taylor Mitchell Morningside (Iowa) - Ethan Stofferan
Notre Dame - Joe Schmidt Kutztown (Pa.) - Charles Barton Peru State (Neb.) - Logan Paben
Ohio State - Jacoby Boren LIU-Post (N.Y.) - Sean Binckes William Penn (Iowa) - Kramer Patterson
Oklahoma - Ty Darlington Ohio Dominican - Brandon Schoen
Penn State - Ben Kline Pittsburg State (Kan.) - Colby Hall
Purdue - Robert Kugler Southern Arkansas - John Miller
Rice - James Farrimond Stonehill (Mass.) - Anthony Masucci
Rutgers - Quentin Gause Tarleton State (Texas) - Robert Hinton
SMU - Andy McCleneghen Wayne State (Mich.) - Carl Roscoe
Syracuse - Riley Dixon Wingate (N.C.) - Eric Mapoles
TCU - Jaden Oberkrom
Temple - Kyle Friend
Tulsa - Derrick Luetjen
UCLA - Jake Brendel
Vanderbilt - Steven Scheu
Virginia - Ian Frye
Wake Forest - Hunter Williams
West Virginia - John DePalma
Wisconsin - Derek Watt
Wyoming - Rafe Kiely

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.1 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of August 31, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 24 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 42,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, SKP, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at

About The National College Football Awards Association
The William V. Campbell Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit to learn more about our story.

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