by Chuck Pool (cpool@edu) -
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) proudly announced today that Rice senior linebacker DJ Green is one of 181 semifinalists for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments®. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
The graduate student from Mesquite, Texas in his first year as a starter for the Owls and currently ranks second on the team with 21 tackles. In the classroom, he graduated in May with a 3.92 GPA while majoring in Sport Management and is now pursuing a Masters of Accounting at Rice. He was the first Rice football player to earn a Conference USA Commissioner’s Medal for four consecutive years by posting a GPA of 3.75 or higher each year. He was the recipient of the 2017 Dr. Hubert E. Bray Scholar Athlete of the Year award and is a two-time Rice Scholar-Athlete for football.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 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 28th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
“These 181 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. “It is important for us to showcase their success 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, which is endowed by HealthSouth. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.3 million. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.
“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.”
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.