IRVING, TEXAS --- Moravian College senior defensive back/linebacker Nick Zambelli has been named one of 179 semifinalists across college football for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy.
The National Football Foundation will announce 12-14 finalists on October 31, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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 playing 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.
"These 179 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. "For 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful 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, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, 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. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $11.5 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."
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program is celebrating its 60th year in 2018. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and the NFF has recognized 841 outstanding individuals since their 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.
Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, serves as a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy® and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.
Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with a Campbell Trophy® finalist/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 $505,000 distributed from 2011-17.
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); Oklahoma's Ty Darlington (2015); Western Michigan's Zach Terrell (2016); and Virginia's Micah Kiser (2017).
"This is an outstanding honor for Nick to be included in the impressive list of semifinalists," stated Moravian College Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "Nick has been a leader on the field for our program since he arrived on campus in 2015, but he is also a leader off the field with his work ethic in the classroom. He leads by example for all of our younger players and will be a success in all his future endeavors beyond his time here at Moravian."
Zambelli is majoring in computer science and economics with a minor in mathematics at Moravian, and he has a perfect 4.0 GPA. Zambelli was named to the Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll in both 2016 and 2017, and he was also selected to the Centennial All-Conference Second Team in 2017 as well as the Centennial All-Academic Team in 2017 for earning All-Conference and Academic Honor Roll accolades. Zambelli was selected to the Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team for NCAA Division III football in 2017. He was honored in 2017 as the Centennial Conference Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the conference's overall Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2017-18. Zambelli is serving as a team captain for the Greyhounds this fall for a second straight season. He.
The 179 semifinalists include 41 NCAA Division III student-athletes, and Zambelli is one of four Centennial Conference players on the list. He is also one of 29 Google Cloud Academic All-Americans on the list and one of the seven semifinalists with a 4.0 GPA.
To view the full NFF release and list of 179 semifinalists, visit https://footballfoundation.org/news/2018/9/25/football-nff-announces-impressive-list-of-179-semifinalists-for-2018-william-v-campbell-trophy.aspx.
Parts of release courtesy of National Football Foundation