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NFF Proudly Announces Finalists for 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda

12 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments.

October 30, 2019

IRVING, Texas (Oct. 30, 2019) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the finalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.

The 12 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, and they will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 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 30th William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown and will be streamed live, with specific broadcast information to be announced at a later date.

Selected from a nationwide pool of 185 exceptional semifinalists from among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, the 12 finalists are:

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE POSITION SCHOOL GPA MAJOR
Spencer Blackburn C Eastern Washington 3.69 Economics & Accounting
Rodrigo Blankenship PK Georgia 3.71 Digital Broadcast Journalism
Jordan Fuller S Ohio State 3.60 Business Marketing
Alex Goettl LB Minnesota State Mankato 3.93 Biomedical Sciences
Justin Herbert QB Oregon 4.01 Biology
Adam Holtorf C Kansas State 3.92 Agribusiness
Michael Lohmeier DE Carnegie Mellon (PA) 4.00 Business Administration
Jordan Mack LB Virginia 3.47 Education
Dante Olson LB Montana 3.90 Business Admin./Management
Jelani Taylor S Cornell 3.96 Hotel Administration
Casey Toohill LB Stanford 3.71 Political Science
Jon Wassink QB Western Michigan 3.96 Accounting

 

“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda,” 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 that Football Matters®, and we are excited to honor their hard work and accomplishments with postgraduate scholarships.”

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda 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 NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year’s National Scholar-Athletes,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “Selected from an impressive group of semifinalists, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is also a leader in his respective community, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”

Following the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the recipient of the 2019 Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda will be honored at several other prestigious events. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, a luncheon will be held in his honor at the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), the official home of the trophy since 2013. From there, he will travel directly to Atlanta for ESPN’s “The Home Depot College Football Awards” at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, Dec. 12, where he will be interviewed live during the show. Finally, he will travel to New Orleans to be honored on the field during the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 13.

First awarded in 1990, The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former CEO and chairman of Intuit, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal. The award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $223,000 in scholarships will be awarded Dec. 10, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $11.7 million.

In September, Mazda announced a three-year partnership to become the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy®, kicking off the automaker’s Power of Potential Platform.

The Campbell Trophy® has previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and six first-round NFL draft picks.

The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, include:

1990 – Chris Howard (Air Force)

1991 – Brad Culpepper (Florida)

1992 – Jim Hansen (Colorado)

1993 – Thomas Burns (Virginia)

1994 – Rob Zatechka (Nebraska)

1995 – Bobby Hoying (Ohio State)

1996 – Danny Wuerffel (Florida)

1997 – Peyton Manning (Tennessee)

1998 – Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia)

1999 – Chad Pennington (Marshall)

2000 – Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska)

2001 – Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami [FL])

2002 – Brandon Roberts (Washington U. in St. Louis [MO])

2003 – Craig Krenzel (Ohio State)

2004 – Michael Munoz (Tennessee)

2005 – Rudy Niswanger (LSU)

2006 – Brian Leonard (Rutgers)

2007 – Dallas Griffin (Texas)

2008 – Alex Mack (California)

2009 – Tim Tebow (Florida)

2010 – Sam Acho (Texas)

2011 – Andrew Rodriguez (Army West         Point)

2012 – Barrett Jones (Alabama)

2013 – John Urschel (Penn State)

2014 – David Helton (Duke)

2015 – Ty Darlington (Oklahoma)

2016 – Zach Terrell (Western Michigan)

2017 – Micah Kiser (Virginia)

2018 – Christian Wilkins (Clemson)

The NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships for combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Including the 2019 recipients, the NFF has honored 866 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards. The honorees have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs and 43 PhDs. Continuing their excellence on the field, more than 200 recipients have played in the NFL with an average career of six seasons or double the length of a typical NFL player. Past recipients also include 13 Rhodes Scholars.

The members of this year’s class find themselves among some of the most elite student-athletes in the history of the game, including NFL standout Drew Brees (Purdue); actor and 2019 NFF Gold Medal recipient Mark Harmon (UCLA); Robert Morris University President Chris Howard (Air Force); XFL Commissioner & CEO Oliver Luck (West Virginia); NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins (Illinois) and Leland Melvin (Richmond); and 38 College Football Hall of Famers, including 2019 electee Joe Thomas (Wisconsin). Click here for a database of all the past NFF National Scholar-Athletes.

Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, serves as the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. As part of its support, Fidelity helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with a finalist for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda. The NFF presents each of the faculty athletics representatives with a plaque and Fidelity donates $5,000 for the academic support services at each school. The salutes have recognized 127 FARs since the program’s inception, and Fidelity has made a total of $630,000 (including $60,000 this year) in donations.

2019 NFF Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda Finalists Highlights

  • 82 Average GPA
  • 12 Captains, including 4 two-year captains (Blackburn, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert)
  • 3 players who have already graduated (Blankenship, Holtorf, Wassink), with 7 more on track to graduate in December (Blackburn, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert, Mack, Olson, Toohill)
  • 5 Academic All-America selections (Fuller, Goettl, Herbert, Holtorf, Lohmeier)
  • 12 Academic All-Conference athletes
  • 2 All-America performers (Blackburn, Mack, Olson) 
  • 7 All-Conference selections (Blackburn, Blankenship, Goettl, Herbert, Lohmeier, Olson, Wassink)
  • 5 members of conference championship teams (Blackburn, Blankenship, Fuller, Goettl, Lohmeier)
  • 3 school record holders (Blankenship, Herbert, Olson)
  • 4 members of playoff teams (CFP – Blankenship, Fuller; FCS – Blackburn; Division II – Goettl)
  • 5 members of ranked teams (Blankenship, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert, Olson)
  • 4 Offensive Players (Blackburn, Herbert, Holtorf, Wassink)
  • 7 Defensive Players (Fuller, Goettl, Lohmeier, Mack, Olson, Taylor, Toohill)
  • 1 Special Teams Player (Blankenship)

In addition to the presentation of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and The William V. Campbell Trophy®Presented by Mazda, the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner will include the induction of the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the presentation of several major awards.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE HALL OF FAME

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Goodyear, Herff Jones, Mazda, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL AWARDS ASSOCIATION

The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.

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