IRVING, Texas– The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

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 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared in dramatic fashion the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

“These 156 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, 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. Campbell, the former chairman of American software company Intuit Inc, was a former player and head coach at Columbia University, not to mention the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.1 million.

“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 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.

Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments, and it has recognized 816 outstanding individuals since its inception. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program’s prestige, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.

RELATED: Ty Darlington of Oklahoma wins William V. Campbell Trophy

In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity Investments 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 of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. In 2014, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize 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 presents each of the faculty representatives with a plaque, and Fidelity donates $5,000 for the academic support services at each school with a total of $380,000 distributed from 2011-15.

The past recipients of the William V. 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 (Fla.)’s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)’s 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); California’s Alex Mack (2008); Florida’s Tim Tebow (2009); Texas’ Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point’s Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama’s Barrett Jones(2012); Penn State’s John Urschel (2013); Duke’s David Helton (2014); and Oklahoma’s Ty Darlington (2015).

The candidates for the NCAA are as follows: 

Player School
Claude Alexander Air Force
Matt Haack Arizona State
Brooks Ellis Arkansas
Jake Swalley Arkansas State
Alex Kozan Auburn 
Sam Brunner Ball State
Sean Wale Boise State
Taysom Hill BYU
Justin Holman Central Florida
Cooper Rush Central Michigan
Ryan Severson Colorado
Justin Wain Connecticut
DeVon Edwards Duke
Zay Jones East Carolina
Cole Gardner Eastern Michigan
Johnny Townsend Florida
Dillion DeBoer Florida Atlantic
Jacob Vasquez Fresno State
Bobby Baker Georgia State
Tyler McCloskey Houston
Joe Spencer Illinois
Jacob Bailey Indiana
Kane Seeley Iowa State
Will Davis Kansas State
Nick Cuthbert Kent State
Jon Toth Kentucky 
Emanuel Byrd Marshall
Jake Elliot Memphis
Justin Vogel Miami (Fla.)
Michael Jocz Michigan
Josiah Price Michigan State
Nathan Noble Mississippi
Richie Brown Mississippi State
Sean Culkin Missouri
Will Worth Navy
Josh Banderas Nebraska 
Nick Weiler North Carolina
Jack Tocho North Carolina State
Fred Scott North Texas
Drew Hare Northern Illinois
Joe Burger Ohio State
Tyler Compton Old Dominion
Johnny Ragin III Oregon
Tyler Yazujian Penn State
Dontez Ford Pittsburgh
Jake Replogle Purdue
Darik Dillard Rice
Quanzell Lambert Rutgers
Tim Crawley San Jose State
Perry Orth South Carolina
Cameron Tom Southern Mississippi
Dallas Lloyd Stanford
Cameron MacPherson Syracuse
Brendan McGowan Temple
Dylan Wiesman Tennessee
Justis Nelson Texas Tech
Dane Evans Tulsa
Hunter Dimick Utah
Travis Seefeldt Utah State
Nicholas Conte Virginia
Ryan Janvion Wake Forest
Tyler Orlosky West Virginia 
Marcus Ward Western Kentucky 
Zach Terrell Western Michigan
Vince Biegel Wisconsin
Chase Roullier Wyoming
Player School
Trey Salisbury Austin Paey State
Dakota Girard Brown
Cary Hess Bucknell
Jarrett Ozimek Campbell
Ben Robinson Charleston Southern
Derrick Craine Chattanooga
Will Vanvick The Citadel
Chris Beaschler Dayton
Jalen Randolph Delaware
Ernest Mengoni Delaware State
Avery Pitt Eastern Kentucky 
John Gallagher Elon
Max Rich Harvard
Jake Wieczorek Holy Cross
Hayden Stout Idaho State 
Mark Spelman Illinois State
Cameron Gibson Marist
Dylan Cole Missouri State
Pat DiSalvio Morehead State
Toby Omli Murray State
Casey DeAndrade New Hampshire
Chase Morlock North Dakota State
Karter Schult Northern Iowa
Nick Demes Pennsylvania
Scott Carpenter Princeton
Andy Smigiera Robert Morris
Lance Geesey Saint Francis
Devyn Bryant San Diego
Nick Mears South Dakota State
Davion Belk Stetson
Jake Ryder Towson
Fred Payne Western Carolina
Nathan Knuffman Western Illinois
Hunter Windmuller William & Mary
Nick Colvin Wofford
Sebastian Little Yale
Division II
Player School
Zach Bernhard Ashland (Ohio)
Bryan Hardy Bentley (Mass.)
Ryan McCauley California of Pa.
Garrett Fugate Central Missouri
Richie Rice Colorado School of Mines
Tyler Sullivan Delta State (Miss.)
Cordell Zalenski Harding (Ark.)
Chase Krivashei Humboldt State (Calif.)
Kellen Williams Kutztown (Pa.)
JC Pawlyk Malone (Ohio)
Simon Mathiesen Northwest Missouri State
Deron Washington Pittsburg State (Kan.)
Anthony Siciliano Stonehill (Mass.)
Cody Burtscher Tarleton State (Texas)
Trent Brodbeck Wayne State (Mich.)
Kyle Keyser West Chester (Pa.)
Caleb Baird Wingate (N.C.)
Division III
Player School
Andrew DiFranco Albion (Mich.)
Mark Upton Bates (Maine)
Drew Neuville Bethel (Minn.) 
Davey Hardesty Bridgewater (Va.)
Brian Khoury Carnegie Mellon (Pa.)
Soren Pelz-Walsh Castleton (Vt.)
Will Longthorne DePauw (Ind.)
Jonathan Naji Franklin and Marshall (Pa.)
Isaac Robinson Frostberg State (Md.)
Sean Fenton Gallaudet (D.C.)
Cordell Boggs Gettysburg (Pa.)
Ibuki Ogasawara Grinnell (Iowa)
Conlan Aguirre Hardin-Simmons (Texas)
Ethan Hoppe Hendrix (Ark.)
Jack Campbell Johns Hopkins (Md.)
Joseph Marabito Kenyon (Ohio)
Sam Mulford Lake Forest (Ill.)
Austin Mital Lycoming (Pa.)
Forest Redlin Macalester (Minn.)
Robert Bradley Maine Maritime
Zach Rudolf Manchester (Ind.)
Matt Barnes Monmouth (Ill.)
Jalen Snyder-Scipio Moravian (Pa.)
Mason Tomblin Ohio Wesleyan
Patrick Neville Redlands (Calif.)
Carter Hanson Saint John's (Minn.)
Alec Mortillaro St. John Fisher (N.Y.)
Brad Hood Trinity (Texas) 
Brandon Martuccio Washington & Jefferson (Pa.)
Branden Lloyd Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Logan Stoa Wisconsin-Stout
John Flood Wisconsin-Whitewater
Todd Ulmer Wooster (Ohio)