NFF Announces William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalists

Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced today the 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments®. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation and is prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.

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, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, 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 the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

“These 156 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. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.1 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.

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); and Oklahoma’s Ty Darlington (2015).

Here is the full list of 2016 nominees.

Air Force – Claude Alexander Austin Peay State – Trey Salisbury Albion (Mich.) – Andrew DiFranco
Arizona State – Matt Haack Brown – Dakota Girard Bates (Maine) – Mark Upton
Arkansas – Brooks Ellis Bucknell – Cary Hess Bethel (Minn.) – Drew Neuville
Arkansas State – Jake Swalley Campbell – Jarrett Ozimek Bridgewater (Va.) – Davey Hardesty
Auburn – Alex Kozan Charleston Southern – Ben Robinson Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) – Brian Khoury
Ball State – Sam Brunner Chattanooga – Derrick Craine Castleton (Vt.) – Soren Pelz-Walsh
Boise State – Sean Wale The Citadel – Will Vanvick DePauw (Ind.) – Will Longthorne
Brigham Young – Taysom Hill Dayton – Chris Beaschler Franklin and Marshall (Pa.) – Jonathan Naji
Central Florida – Justin Holman Delaware – Jalen Randolph Frostburg State (Md.) – Isaac Robinson
Central Michigan – Cooper Rush Delaware State – Ernest Mengoni Gallaudet (D.C.) – Sean Fenton
Colorado – Ryan Severson Eastern Kentucky – Avery Pitt Gettysburg (Pa.) – Cordell Boggs
Connecticut – Justin Wain Elon – John Gallagher Grinnell (Iowa) – Ibuki Ogasawara
Duke – DeVon Edwards Harvard – Max Rich Hardin-Simmons (Texas) – Conlan Aguirre
East Carolina – Zay Jones Holy Cross – Jake Wieczorek Hendrix (Ark.) – Ethan Hoppe
Eastern Michigan – Cole Gardner Idaho State – Hayden Stout Johns Hopkins (Md.) – Jack Campbell
Florida – Johnny Townsend Illinois State – Mark Spelman Kenyon (Ohio) – Joseph Marabito
Florida Atlantic – Dillon DeBoer Marist – Cameron Gibson Lake Forest (Ill.) – Sam Mulford
Fresno State – Jacob Vazquez Missouri State – Dylan Cole Lycoming (Pa.) – Austin Mital
Georgia State – Bobby Baker Morehead State – Pat DiSalvio Macalester (Minn.) – Forest Redlin
Houston – Tyler McCloskey Murray State – Toby Omli Maine Maritime – Robert Bradley
Illinois – Joe Spencer New Hampshire – Casey DeAndrade Manchester (Ind.) – Zach Rudolf
Indiana – Jacob Bailey North Dakota State – Chase Morlock Monmouth (Ill.) – Matt Barnes
Iowa State – Kane Seeley Northern Iowa – Karter Schult Moravian (Pa.) – Jalen Snyder-Scipio
Kansas State – Will Davis Pennsylvania – Nick Demes Ohio Wesleyan – Mason Tomblin
Kent State – Nick Cuthbert Princeton – Scott Carpenter Redlands (Calif.) – Patrick Neville
Kentucky – Jon Toth Robert Morris – Andy Smigiera Saint John’s (Minn.) – Carter Hanson
Marshall – Emanuel Byrd Saint Francis – Lance Geesey St. John Fisher (N.Y.) – Alec Mortillaro
Memphis – Jake Elliott San Diego – Devyn Bryant Trinity (Texas) – Brad Hood
Miami (Fla.) – Justin Vogel South Dakota State – Nick Mears Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) – Brandon Martuccio
Michigan – Michael Jocz Stetson – Davion Belk Wisconsin-Oshkosh – Branden Lloyd
Michigan State – Josiah Price Towson – Jake Ryder Wisconsin-Stout – Logan Stoa
Mississippi – Nathan Noble Western Carolina – Fred Payne Wisconsin-Whitewater – John Flood
Mississippi State – Richie Brown Western Illinois – Nathan Knuffman Wooster (Ohio) – Todd Ulmer
Missouri – Sean Culkin William & Mary – Hunter Windmuller
Navy – Will Worth Wofford – Nick Colvin
Nebraska – Josh Banderas Yale – Sebastian Little NAIA
North Carolina – Nick Weiler Morningside (Iowa) – Austin Anfinson
North Carolina State – Jack Tocho Northwestern (Iowa) – Craig Bruinsma
North Texas – Fred Scott DIVISION II Peru State (Neb.) – Ryan Zuhlke
Northern Illinois – Drew Hare Ashland (Ohio) – Zach Bernhard Trinity International (Ill.) – Riley Schussler
Ohio State – Joe Burger Bentley (Mass.) – Bryan Hardy
Old Dominion – Tyler Compton California of Pa. – Ryan McCauley
Oregon – Johnny Ragin III Central Missouri – Garrett Fugate
Penn State – Tyler Yazujian Colorado School of Mines – Richie Rice
Pittsburgh – Dontez Ford Delta State (Miss.) – Tyler Sullivan
Purdue – Jake Replogle Harding (Ark.) – Cordell Zalenski
Rice – Darik Dillard Humboldt State (Calif.) – Chase Krivashei
Rutgers – Quanzell Lambert Kutztown (Pa.) – Kellen Williams
San Jose State – Tim Crawley Malone (Ohio) – JC Pawlyk
South Carolina – Perry Orth Northwest Missouri State – Simon Mathiesen
Southern Mississippi – Cameron Tom Pittsburg State (Kan.) – Deron Washington
Stanford – Dallas Lloyd Stonehill (Mass.) – Anthony Siciliano
Syracuse – Cameron MacPherson Tarleton State (Texas) – Cody Burtscher
Temple – Brendan McGowan Wayne State (Mich.) – Trent Brodbeck
Tennessee – Dylan Wiesman West Chester (Pa.) – Kyle Keyser
Texas Tech – Justis Nelson Wingate (N.C.) – Caleb Baird
Tulsa – Dane Evans
Utah – Hunter Dimick
Utah State – Travis Seefeldt
Virginia – Nicholas Conte
Wake Forest – Ryan Janvion
West Virginia – Tyler Orlosky
Western Kentucky – Marcus Ward
Western Michigan – Zach Terrell
Wisconsin – Vince Biegel
Wyoming – Chase Roullier


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 816 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 Investments 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 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 with a total of $380,000 distributed from 2011-15.

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