PRESS RELEASE FROM FSU ATHLETICS:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, one of the best and brightest players in college football, has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the 121 semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy, who are also candidates for the 2010 NFF National Scholar-the Campbell Trophy.
Ponder, a fifth-year senior on the playing field, is one of 47 Football Bowl Subdivision players represented. Each of the semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2, outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Ponder already holds a B.S. in Finance (’08) and a Master’s in Business Administration (’10) and began work on a second post-graduate degree in Sports Management this semester.
"This year's Campbell Trophy semifinalists embody the National Football Foundation's mission of building leaders through football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are standouts in the classroom and on the field and have become leaders in their respective communities. Each school should take great pride in being represented by such well-rounded young men who will undoubtedly go on to do great things in life."
The trophy – formerly known as the Draddy Trophy - was renamed last fall 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 NFF Awards Committee will select up to 15 finalists and announce the results via national press release on Thursday, Oct. 28. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, bringing the NFF's all-time scholarship distribution to $9.5 million.
Ponder is vying to become the eighth Florida State player to earn an NFF Scholar-Athlete Award, joining Ken Alexander (1993), Derrick Brooks (1994), Danny Kanell (1995), Daryl Bush (1997), Chris Weinke (2000), Chris Hope (2001) and David Castillo (2005).
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 William V. Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, 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 University of Florida's Tim Tebow was named the 2009 Campbell Trophy recipient and last year's finalists combined for a 3.77 average GPA. The class boasted 14 academic all-conference student-athletes, including seven academic All-America picks; 14 all-conference players, including six All-America picks; 16 team captains; one Heisman Trophy winner; and eight members of conference championship teams.