Eight student-athletes from the Atlantic Coast Conference have been named semifinalists for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments®, announced Wednesday by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). The award is presented annually to the nation’s best football scholar-athlete and is often referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Previous Campbell Trophy winners from current ACC schools include Duke’s David Helton in 2014, Virginia’s Thomas Burns in 1993 and Miami’s Joaquin Gonzalez in 2001. Duke’s DeVon Edwards and Wake Forest’s Ryan Janvion were finalists for last year’s Campbell Trophy.
“These 181 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 the late Bill Campbell, former 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, which is endowed by HealthSouth. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.3 million. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.
“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 playing 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.
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 828 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.
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); Duke’s David Helton (2014); Oklahoma’s Ty Darlington (2015); and Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell (2016).
2017 ACC William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalists\
Duke – Gabe Brandner
Georgia Tech – Andrew Marshall
Miami (Fla.) – Braxton Berrios
North Carolina State – Cole Cook
Pittsburgh – Ryan Winslow
Syracuse – Jordan Martin
Virginia – Micah Kiser
Wake Forest – Cam Serigne