IRVING, Texas (Sept. 26, 2018) – Recognizing one of the most impressive groups of scholar-athletes in the history of college football, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) proudly announced today the 180 semifinalists for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy®. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Fidelity Investments is a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®.
Kentucky nominated kicker Miles Butler for this award as the team’s top scholar-athlete.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 31, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 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 29th William V. Campbell Trophy® 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.
“These 180 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. “For 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful 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 $11.5 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.”
2018 NFF WILLIAM V. CAMPBELL TROPHY® SEMIFINALISTS NOTES
60th Year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program
29th Year of The William V. Campbell Trophy®
3.62 Average GPA
7 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
51 Nominees with a 3.8 GPA or better
70 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better
29 Academic All-America Selections
95 All-Conference Picks
64 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
40 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
25 Nominees from NCAA Division II
41 Nominees from NCAA Division III
10 Nominees from the NAIA
81 Offensive Players
82 Defensive Players
17 Special Teams Players
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program is celebrating its 60th year in 2018. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments, and the NFF has recognized 841 outstanding individuals since their 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.
Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, serves as a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy® and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.
Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with a Campbell Trophy® finalist/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 $505,000 distributed from 2011-17.