DALLAS, Texas --- Four senior Moravian football players have been named to the 2016 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for their excellence in academics. Seniors defensive linemen Jason Borso and Gunnar Houseknecht, running back Luke Gotzon and defensive back Anthony Orlando were all listed in the eighth year of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society. The quartet gives Moravian a total of 39 NFF Hampshire Honor Society members in 10 years.
"It has been a privilege to coach Jason, Gunnar, Luke and Anthony, as well as getting to know them off of the field," commented Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "They have been contributors on the field, and they have excelled in the classroom in their time at Moravian. We know that they all have great future successes ahead of them in their chosen fields, and they know that they will always be part of the Greyhounds' program."
All four players were named to the 2015 Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll with Orlando also earning a spot on the All-Conference First Team and the Centennial Conference All-Academic Team. Gotzon was a three-time member of the Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Official National Football Foundation Release Below:
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the members of the 2016 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. A total of 875 players from 278 schools qualified for membership as the society celebrates its 10th year, setting a new record for the number of players honored during the history of the program.
"The number of colleges and universities who embrace the Hampshire Honor Society continues to increase each year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program by 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 775 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
The 875 players honored in 2016 is a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 838 honorees in 2014. The initiative has honored 6,627 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007. The top five for total honorees during the 10-year span of the program include Brown (104), Dayton (89), Yale (81), Nebraska Wesleyan (79) and Johns Hopkins [Md.] (77). Union College (N.Y.) holds the mark for the most honorees in a single year, boasting 18 members in 2012.
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 the chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 10 years," said Hanson. "Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they're going on to be great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work."
"We have honored more than 6,500 student-athletes in the last 10 years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:
- Being a starter or a significant contributor in one's last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft) at an 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/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents an important component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, which began in 1959 with the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Launched with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.9 million to 816 top scholars and community leaders.
Currently, the NFF distributes approximately $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 12-15 individuals. Each recipient of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by Academic All-American and All-Big 12 center Ty Darlington (Oklahoma) in 2015, 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.
For more information visit the NFF website at http://www.footballfoundation.org/