The National Football Foundation on Thursday released its list of 17 finalists for the Campbell Trophy, college football’s highest scholar-athlete honor. Now in its 25th season, the Campbell Trophy is considered the academic version of the Heisman.
“We are extremely proud to announce this year’s National Scholar-Athlete Class,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. They serve as living examples of our mission of building leaders through football, and they create an exceptional pool of candidates for the Campbell Trophy.”
To be eligible for consideration, finalists much be in their final year of eligibility, carry a GPA of 3.2 or higher, be listed first team on their respective teams’ depth charts, and have an outstanding record as of leadership and community service.
As a group, the players average a 3.69 GPA, a dozen are team captains, 15 have earned all-conference honors, six have received All-America accolades, four have been named their conference’s player of the year, and nine hold school records of some sort.
The 17 finalists are:
- Terry Baggett, Army running back
- Austin Damaschke, Concordia (Wis.) quarterback
- Austin Hasquet, Northern Arizona linebacker
- David Helton, Duke linebacker
- Taylor Kelly, Arizona State quarterback
- Nate Leonard, UTSA center
- Tyler Lockett, Kansas State wide receiver
- Mike Mancini, Trinity (Conn.) safety
- Charles Moore, Tarleton State (Texas) safety
- Mark Murphy, Indiana safety
- Jordan Richards, Stanford safety
- Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State (Ark.) quarterback
- Mike Sadler, Michigan State punter
- Caleb Schafffitzel, Missouri State safety
- Tyler Varga, Yale tailback
- Brandon Vitabile, Northwestern center
- Zach Zenner, South Dakota State running back
All 17 finalists will receive $16,000 post-graduate scholarships and will head to New York City for the Dec. 9 awards dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria. The Campbell Trophy winner, in addition to joining a group consisting of Danny Wuerffel,Peyton Manning, and Tim Tebow, receives a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Penn State’s John Urschel won the honor in 2013.