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Members of 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Lead Teams to Postseason Games
Seven National Scholar-Athletes scheduled for FBS bowl games; two helped teams to FCS playoffs.
Published: 12/14/2017 2:25:00 PM
(Pictured: 2017 Campbell Trophy® winner and First Team All-America linebacker Micah Kiser (Virginia) is among seven of the 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athletes who will be appearing in FBS bowl games this postseason. Two other members of the class led their teams to the FCS playoffs. / Photo by National Football Foundation/Melissa Macatee)

IRVING, Texas (Dec. 14, 2017)
– The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Football Hall of Fame salutes the members of the 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, that will wrap up their successful careers in an NCAA postseason game. Seven of the 13 members have guided their teams to an FBS bowl game this season.

Additionally, Jacksonville State center Justin Lea and South Dakota State wide receiver Jake Wieneke led their teams to the FCS Playoffs. Lea and the Gamecocks made it to the second round, while Wieneke and the No. 5 seed Jackrabbits will play at No. 1 seed James Madison in the Semifinals of the FCS Playoffs this Saturday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Here is a detailed bowl schedule for the NFF National Scholar-Athletes:

Sat., Dec. 16, 2017
Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky
AutoNation Cure Bowl – Orlando, Fla.
2:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Georgia State defensive back Chandon Sullivan earned his third consecutive All-Sun Belt Conference selection while leading the Panthers to a 6-5 record and the team’s second bowl in the program’s short eight-year history. The team captain is Georgia State’s career leader in interceptions (7) and passes defended (25). A three-time Academic All-District selection, Sullivan boasts a 3.84 GPA in journalism.

Sat., Dec. 16, 2017
Boise State vs. Oregon
Las Vegas Bowl – Whitney, Nev.
3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Boise State center Mason Hampton earned First Team All-Mountain West honors while leading the Broncos to the 2017 conference title. By the end of the regular season, the Boise State offensive line had produced a 1,000-yard rusher while guiding the team to a 10-3 record and its 16th consecutive bowl game. A First Team Academic All-American, Hampton maintains a remarkable 3.97 GPA in accounting.

Sat., Dec. 16, 2017
Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennessee
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl – Montgomery, Ala.
8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Arkansas State cornerback Blaise Taylor earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors at defensive back and third team laurels as a return specialist while leading the Red Wolves to a 7-4 record and their seventh consecutive bowl game. His 13.4 punt return average leads the Sun Belt and is fifth in the nation. Taylor is believed to be the only active player in the FBS to have earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees before the start of his true senior season, graduating with a 3.84 GPA in business administration before earning his MBA.

Thurs., Dec. 28, 2017
Virginia vs. Navy
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman – Annapolis, Md.
1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser, the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient, earned First Team All-America honors while leading the ACC in tackles per game for the third consecutive season. The two-year team captain played an integral role in the Cavaliers becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. A three-time First Team All-ACC selection, Kiser ranks fifth all-time at Virginia with 400 career tackles and reached double-digits in 20 of his 36 starts. An Academic All-American, Kiser graduated with a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs while boasting a 3.42 GPA. He currently maintains a 4.0 GPA while working toward his master’s in higher education.

Thurs., Dec. 28, 2017
Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech
Camping World Bowl – Orlando, Fla.
5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Oklahoma State center Brad Lundblade earned First Team All-Big 12 honors while anchoring an offense that ranks first in the nation in passing, second in total offense and third in scoring. The 9-3 Cowboys will be playing in their 12th consecutive bowl game. A four-year starter at center, he walked on before earning a scholarship prior to the 2015 season. A First Team Academic All-American, Lundblade maintains an impressive 3.88 GPA in marketing.

Fri., Dec. 29, 2017
Northwestern vs. Kentucky
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Nashville, Tenn.
4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Northwestern running back Justin Jackson earned his fourth-straight All-Big Ten recognition this season while leading the Wildcats to a 9-3 record and their third-straight bowl game. Jackson amassed 1,154 rushing yards during the regular season, becoming just the second player in Big Ten history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in all four seasons. Northwestern’s all-time leading rusher, his 5,283 career rushing yards are third in Big Ten history and 11th in NCAA history. The Academic All-American maintains a 3.23 GPA in economics.

Sat., Dec. 30, 2017
No. 11 Miami (Fla.) vs. No. 6 Wisconsin
Capital One Orange Bowl – Miami Gardens, Fla.
8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios led the Hurricanes in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches while guiding the team to an ACC Coastal Division title. The All-ACC selection guided the Hurricanes to a 10-2 record and their fifth-straight bowl game. A three-time Academic All-District and two-time Academic All-ACC selection, Berrios remains on pace to graduate in December with a 3.96 GPA as double major in finance and entrepreneurship.


All rankings reflect the final 2017 FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.



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 Football Matters®, 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 Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.

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