Dallas, TX -- Former Florida State offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders was selected to the 2012 Hampshire Honor Society announced by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Wednesday.
The honor society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. A total of 721 players from 232 schools qualified for membership in the society's sixth year, marking this year's class as the largest since the program's creation in 2007.
Sanders became the fifth Seminole selected to the Hampshire Society joining Ochuko, Jenije (2011), Christian Ponder (2011), Myron Rolle (2009) and Zack Aronson (2010). Ponder also earned NFF National Scholar-Athlete honors following the 2010 season.
A four-year starter at offensive tackle for the Seminoles, Sanders capped off his career by earning first team All-ACC honors and was a two-time All-ACC Academic football team member. He graduated in December 2011 with a degree in retail merchandising and product development.
Sanders made a team-high 50 career starts, including 36 consecutive games. The 50 career starts tied for the second-most in Florida State history. He As a senior in 2011, he was the runner-up for the Jacobs Blocking Award, presented to the ACC's most dominant offensive lineman. He consistently ranked among the top-graded offensive linemen at FSU, posting a season average grade of 76 and led the team with 819 snaps. He posted a team-leading 28 knockdown blocks, pushing his career total to 139, tops among all FSU linemen. He was penalized just eight times all season and allowed only two sacks after making the move to left tackle as quarterback EJ Manuel's blind-side protector over the final eight game.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include: being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university; achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study and meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program 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 more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by Army linebacker Andrew Rodriguez in 2011, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.3 million.