Sept. 30, 2010
IRVING, Texas -
Two Conference USA football players have been named as semifinalists for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), endowed by HealthSouth, as announced by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). Marshall senior TE Lee Smith and SMU senior LB Pete Fleps represent C-USA on the list. Nominees for the Campbell Trophy are also candidates for the 2010 NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards.
Smith, who hails from Powell, Tenn., was a Preseason All-Conference USA selection this season. In the first four games of the 2010 campaign, he has seven receptions for 63 yards. Smith was named honorable mention All C-USA in 2009 despite playing along-side Mackey Award Semi-Finalist Cody Slate. He is a team captain who is regarded as a tremendous blocker and receiver.
He was nominated for the Allstate Good Works Team last year and is a candidate for that award again in 2010. Smith received Marshall's Cam Henderson Scholarship in 2010 and has a 3.21 grade point average with a double-major in psychology and criminal justice.
Fleps, a native of Southlake, Texas, has been solid on defense playing in every game for the Ponies over the last three-plus seasons. He ranked third on the team in 2009 with 83 tackles, including nine in SMU's Hawai'i Bowl victory, and leads SMU with 35 tackles through four games in 2010. He was named honorable mention All-C-USA by the league's coaches in 2009 and has been named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll every year since 2006.
Fleps is also a nominee for the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, an award that honors players who stand out for the positive influence they have in their communities. Fleps boasts an impressive resume of community service accomplishments. As President of SMU's Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he volunteers with various organizations throughout the year; serving the local community and encouraging people to make a difference.
"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."
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists 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 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 would like to personally congratulate each Campbell Trophy semifinalist 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 finalists from among this esteemed group."
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.
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.
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); and Florida's Tim Tebow (2009).
The NFF'S 2010 FBS Campbell Trophy Semifinalists
Air Force - Kevin Fogler
Alabama - Greg McElroy
Army - Carson Homme
Ball State - Ian McGarvey
Baylor - Derek Epperson
Boston College - Anthony Castonzo
BYU - Mitch Payne
California - Mike Mohamed
Colorado - Nate Solder
Colorado State - Eric Peitz
Florida State - Christian Ponder
Georgia - Kris Durham
Illinois - Anthony Santella
Indiana - Ben Chappell
Iowa - Julian Vandervelde
Kansas State - Corey Adams
Louisiana-Lafayette - Grant Fleming
Marshall - Lee Smith
Maryland - Travis Baltz
Middle Tennessee State - Phillip Tanner
Minnesota - Adam Weber
Mississippi State - Derek Sherrod
Navy - Joe Buckley
Nebraska - Adi Kunalic
Northern Illinois - Mike Krause
Northwestern - Stefan Demos
Notre Dame - Chris Stewart
Ohio State - Bryant Browning
Oregon - Jordan Holmes
Penn State - Stefen Wisniewski
Purdue - Kyle Adams
Rutgers - Teddy Dellaganna
SMU - Pete Fleps
South Carolina - Garrett Chisolm
Stanford - Owen Marecic
Syracuse - Derrell Smith
TCU - Curtis Clay
Tennessee - Daniel Lincoln
Texas - Sam Acho
Texas A&M - Michael Hodges
UCLA - Daniel Rees
Utah - Zane Taylor
Vanderbilt - John Stokes
Washington State - Chima Nwachukwu
Western Michigan - Phil Swanson
Wisconsin - Scott Tolzien
Wyoming - Chris Prosinski