Auburn's Ashton Richardson a semifinalist for NFF's Campbell Tro - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

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Auburn's Ashton Richardson a semifinalist for NFF's Campbell Trophy

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Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the 147 candidates for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. The 147 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. 

Auburn's Ashton Richardson, a senior linebacker majoring in animal sciences, is one of the 147 semifinalists for this year's award. 

"This year's candidates truly 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." 

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. 

"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."  

The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored December 4 during the 55th 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. 

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 $10.1 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, 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. 

In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor ever in the 54-year history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF will present each of the faculty representatives with a plaque and a $5,000 check from Fidelity Investments to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school. 

The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); and Army's Andrew Rodriguez (2011). 

2012 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES 

•  3.57 Average GPA

•  29 nominees with a 3.80 GPA or better

•  91 Team Captains

•  74 All-Conference Picks

•  21 Academic All-America Selections

•  14 All-America Selections

•  50 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision

•  35 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision

•  12 Nominees from the Division II

•  41 Nominees from the Division III

•  9 Nominees from the NAIA

•  68 Offensive Players

•  53 Defensive Players

•  26 Special Teams Players  

NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS CANDIDATES 

Football Bowl Subdivision

Alabama -- Barrett Jones

Arkansas -- Dylan Breeding

Army -- Zach Watts

Auburn -- Ashton Richardson

Ball State -- Scott Kovanda

Baylor -- Nick Florence

Brigham Young -- Riley Nelson

California -- Matt Summers-Gavin

Central Florida -- Lyle Dankenbring

Clemson -- Dalton Freeman

Colorado -- Dustin Ebner

Duke -- Sean Renfree

Eastern Michigan -- Alex Gillett

Florida -- Caleb Sturgis

Florida State -- Dustin Hopkins

Georgia -- Ty Frix

Indiana -- Adam Replogle

Iowa -- James Vandenberg

Iowa State -- Carter Bykowski

Kentucky -- Matt Smith

Louisiana Tech -- Matt Nelson

Mississippi -- Tyler Campbell

Missouri -- T.J. Moe

Navy -- Keegan Wetzel

Nebraska -- Rex Burkhead

North Carolina -- Pete Mangum

North Carolina State -- McKay Frandsen

Northern Illinois -- Nabal Jefferson

Northwestern -- Patrick Ward

Notre Dame -- Manti Te'o

Ohio -- Matt Weller

Ohio State -- Ben Buchanan

Penn State -- Pete Massaro

Purdue -- Robert Maci

Rutgers -- Duron Harmon

San Jose State -- Travis Johnson

South Carolina -- Seth Strickland

South Florida -- Evan Landi

Southern California -- Matt Barkley

Syracuse -- Ryan Nassib

Texas -- Marquise Goodwin

Texas Tech -- Cody Davis

Toledo -- Dan Molls

UCLA -- Jeff Locke

Utah -- Sean Sellwood

Virginia Tech -- Joey Phillips

West Virginia -- Jeff Braun

Western Michigan -- Chris Prom

Wisconsin -- Shelton Johnson

Wyoming -- Luke Ruff 

Football Championship Subdivision

Austin Peay State -- Wesley Kitts

Brown -- Ross Walthall

Bryant -- Colin Sullivan

Bucknell -- Sam Oyekoya

Butler -- Jordan Ridley

Campbell -- Sam Eberwein

Colgate -- Chris Looney

Dartmouth -- Patrick Lahey

Dayton -- Bill Petraiuolo

Delaware -- Ethan Clark

Drake -- Tyler Moorehead

Eastern Kentucky -- Patrick Ford

Fordham -- Patrick Murray

Georgia State -- Akeen Felder

Holy Cross -- Tom Mannix

Maine -- Brian Harvey

Missouri State -- Matt Thayer

Montana -- Samuel Gratton

New Hampshire -- Chris Zarkoskie

Nicholls State -- Kerry Guidry

North Dakota -- Ross Brenneman

North Dakota State -- Garrett Bruhn

Northern Arizona -- Jake Hess

Northern Colorado -- Mason Puckett

Northern Iowa -- Kyle Bernard

Northwestern State -- John Shaughnessy

Old Dominion -- Jonathan Plisco

Princeton -- Joe Cloud

Rhode Island -- Kyle Elliott

Robert Morris -- Nolan Nearhoof

Sam Houston State -- Eric Fieilo

South Dakota State -- Tyrel Kool

Southern Illinois -- Joe Okon

UC-Davis -- Sean Davies

UT-Chattanooga -- Adam Miller 

Division II

Adams State (Colo.) -- Jason Nottingham

Ashland (Ohio) -- Donnie Dottei

C.W. Post-LIU (N.Y.) -- Grayson Laurino

Eastern New Mexico -- Wes Wood

Harding (Ark.) -- Josh Aldridge

Missouri Univ. of Science & Tech. -- Josh Firm

Missouri Southern State -- Kellen Cox

St. Cloud State (Minn.) -- Andrew Beckmann

Wayne State (Mich.) -- Nick Thomas

West Texas A&M -- Aarone Mulane

Wingate (N.C.) -- Andrew Nallenweg 

Division III

Albion (Mich.) -- Spencer Krauss

Albright (Pa.) -- J.T. Harding

Bethany (W.Va.) -- Johnathan Foster

Bethel (Minn.) -- Gavin Maurer

Bluffton (Ohio) -- Ryan Sabin

Case Western Reserve (Ohio) -- Dan Calabrese

Central (Iowa) -- Ross Doehrmann

Denison (Ohio) -- Nathaniel Kell

DePauw (Ind.) -- Christopher Lamping

Dubuque (Iowa) -- Wyatt Hanus

Emory & Henry (Va.) -- Ross Ellis

Franklin and Marshall (Pa.) -- Kenny Provost

Frostburg State (Md.) -- Anthony Young

Gallaudet (D.C.) -- Denton Mallas

Gettysburg (Pa.) -- Larry DelViscio

Grinnell (Iowa) -- TJ Schaid

Hampden-Sydney (Va.) -- Alex Price

Hardin-Simmons (Texas) -- Travis Sugar

Kean (N.J.) -- T.J. Denehy

King's (Pa.) -- Ryan Cordingly

Lake Forest (Ill.) -- Aidan Price

Lycoming (Pa.) -- Parker Showers

Macalester (Minn.) -- Riley Koval

Manchester (Ind.) -- Matt Frieden

Massachusetts Institute of Tech. -- Ethan Peterson

Mount Union (Ohio) -- Nick Driskill

North Central (Ill.) -- Alex Pirela

Oberlin (Ohio) -- David Kalgren

Rowan (N.J.) -- Chris Popper

Saint John's (Minn.) -- Stephen Johnson

Shenandoah (Va.) -- Nick Erdman

Simpson (Iowa) -- Mark Cronin

Union (N.Y.) -- Noah Joseph

Wartburg (Iowa) -- Garrett McGrane

Washington Univ. in St. Louis (Mo.) -- Dan Burkett

Westfield State (Mass.) -- Chris Walker

Wheaton (Ill.) -- Sam VanHeest

Williams (Mass.) -- Ladd Hamrick

Wisconsin-Eau Claire -- Matt Hawley

Wisconsin-Oshkosh -- Ben Strehlow

Wisconsin-Stout -- Joshua Peterson 

NAIA

Bethel (Tenn.) -- Jouan Cox

Cumberland (Tenn.) -- Cody McCallister

Dakota State (S.D.) -- John Niesen

Faulkner (Ala.) -- Mitchell Thornton

McPherson (Kan.) -- Jacob Snodgrass

Peru State (Neb.) -- Joel Woodhead

Saint Xavier (Ill.) -- Shane Zackery

Univ. of the Cumberlands (Ky.) -- Jay Bright

William Penn (Iowa) -- Mason Woods

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Dept.

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