DALLAS, TX-Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced today the 127 candidates for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in high education. The 127 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. Among the selections was Hampden-Sydney center Ben Rogers (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover).
Rogers, a three-time First Team All-ODAC and two-time All-State selection, has excelled both on the gridiron and in the classroom. The two-year captain has helped the Tigers become one of the most feared offenses in the region while compiling a 30-4 regular season record, a 2009 ODAC Championship and two NCAA appearances.
In the classroom, Rogers boasts a 3.47 GPA with a major in mathmatical economics. In addition, he is a dean's list student as well as a three-time Academic All-ODAC selection. He is also active around campus as the president of the Tiger Athletic Club, a member of the President's Council, and a student mentor for the "Student Network" among other things.
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.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, 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 increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $9.8 million. Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990 to Hampden-Sydney president Chris Howard, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Wednesday, October 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored December 6 during the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.
To view the entire list of 2011 nominees, click here.