UVA Football: Jordan Mack named Campbell Trophy semifinalist
UVA senior linebacker Jordan Mack was today named a semifinalist for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The award recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Mack is one of 185 semifinalists for the award and one of six from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mack (Sr., Lithonia, Ga.) leads the nation’s linebackers with five sacks and is No. 6 overall among all FBS players. He has at least 0.5 sacks in six-straight games dating back to the 2018 Virginia Tech games and has 7.0 sacks during his current streak. Mack is one of two active FBS players (only linebacker) to have an active streak of six games with at least 0.5 sacks, joining Ohio State’s Chase Young. Mack also shares the team lead with 29 tackles for a defense that ranks No. 14 nationally in total defense, allowing 263.8 yards per game.
Mack’s community involvement includes a passion for his work with the Kindness Café + Play, which is a café in Charlottesville that employs people with cognitive disabilities, creating a space where people with and without disabilities interact as peers and where connections are made. Jordan’s volunteer work with the café includes marketing and promotion of the café locally about the need for such an endeavor in the community.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 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 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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.
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 $11.5 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.”
Virginia is one of five schools (only ACC school) to have multiple Campbell Trophy recipients. Former UVA All-American linebacker Micah Kiser the most recent winner, the 28th all-time recipient. Kiser was a CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American and is only the second player in ACC history to lead the league in tackles for three years in a row. Kiser graduated No. 5 all-time at UVA with 411 career tackles and he currently plays for the Los Angeles Rams after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Former Virginia standout Tom Burns was the Campbell Trophy’s fourth recipient. He won the award in 1994. He was a two-year starter at linebacker and four-year performer. Burns became one of Virginia’s all-time leading tacklers with 200 career stops, placing him 15th on the Cavaliers’ all-time roster at the time of his graduation. Majoring in nuclear engineering, he compiled a 3.92 GPA and was twice named a CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American. His many academic accolades during his senior year include the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award, the Jim Tatum Award and the ACC’s Weaver-James Post-Graduate Award.