by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
Rice’s Darik Dillard has been named to the 2017 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, which annually recognizes the graduating college football seniors who have excelled on both the field and in the classroom.
Dillard will graduate in May with a 3.35 GPA while majoring in Mechanical Engineering & Economics. He finished his career at Rice ranked sixth with 26 touchdowns, seventh in carries (446) and rushing (2,196) and tied for 10th with 156 career points. He combined with older brother Jarett for 86 career touchdowns to set an NCAA recover for total touchdowns by siblings. He was also a two-time selection to the C-USA All Academic team, a four-time member of C-USA Academic Honor Roll a three-time Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar. He was a Rice Honor Athlete in 2015 and a Rice Scholar Athlete in 2016.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. A total of 1,089 players from 297 schools qualified for membership in the society's 11th year, both new single-year records in the history of the program.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the 777 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
The 1,089 players honored in 2017 sets a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 882 honorees in 2016. The 297 schools with members breaks the previous record of 280 in both 2015 and 2016.
The initiative has honored 7,723 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.