IRVING, Texas --- Six senior Moravian College football players – running back Devon Bucks, tight end George Haddad, kicker Jon Miller, defensive lineman Vincent Pianoforte, linebacker Tanner Stokes and linebacker/defensive back Nick Zambelli have been named to the 2019 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society for their excellence in academics. The group gives Moravian a total of 50 NFF Hampshire Honor Society members in 13 years.
"I couldn't be more proud of this group of seniors," commented Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "'Scholar is in front of Athlete' and these guys take that to heart. Not only are there All-Conference caliber football talent in this group, but these young men are excellent achievers in the classroom. Devon, George, Vinny, Jon, Tanner, and Nick were leaders for this program both on and off the field, and I look forward to seeing them continue to succeed as they move forward into the professional world."
Pianoforte, Stokes and Zambelli were also named to the 2018 Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll last November for the Greyhounds.
Official National Football Foundation Release Below:
IRVING, Texas (April 10, 2019) - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the members of the 2019 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 careers. An all-time high of 1,643 players from a record 424 schools qualified for membership in the Society's 13th year.
"We are pleased to see another record number of athletes honored by the Hampshire Honor Society this year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "For more than a 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 in all aspects of their lives."
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 at the 778 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
The 1,643 players honored in 2019 sets a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 1,274 honorees in 2018. The 424 schools represented breaks the previous mark of 308 set in 2018.
The initiative has now honored 10,660 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.
Twenty-two schools had at least 10 honorees in 2019, including Amherst (MA), Brown, Carroll (WI), Central (IA), Dayton, Drake, Harvard, Johns Hopkins (MD), Macalester (MN), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Wesleyan, Ohio Northern, Pacific Lutheran (WA), Pomona-Pitzer (CA), Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), Saint John's (MN), Springfield (MA), Washington Univ. in St. Louis (MO), Western New England (MA) and Westfield State (MA).
Division III's Saint John's (MN) led all schools in 2019 with 20 honorees. Brigham Young and Vanderbilt led all FBS schools with seven members each while Harvard topped the FCS with 16 honorees. Minnesota Duluth was the Division II leader with 10 members and Doane (NE) had the most honorees in the NAIA with nine.
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 chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his or her 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 13 years," said Hanson. "Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they are going on to become 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 10,000 student-athletes in the last 13 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."
Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have:
- Completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2018;
- o Graduated players, who have remaining eligibility but will not return to collegiate play (e.g. declared for NFL Draft or retired from football), may also be nominated.
- Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study;
- Met all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements; and
- Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2018 season.
Twenty-nine colleges and universities have had at least one player in all 13 years of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society (2007-19), including Brigham Young, Brown, Bucknell, Colorado, Columbia, Dayton, Huntingdon (AL), Iowa, Johns Hopkins (MD), Kentucky, Lafayette, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Montana, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Penn State, Redlands (CA), Saint John's (MN), SMU, South Dakota State, Wartburg (IA), Washington Univ. in St. Louis (MO), Wayne State (MI), West Virginia, Wingate (NC), Yale and Youngstown State.
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 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 $11.5 million to 854 top scholars and community leaders.
Selected in the fall, each recipient of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Additionally, The William V. Campbell Trophy® is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The winner of the Campbell Trophy® 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.
About the Hampshire Foundation
The Hampshire Foundation is the charitable arm of The Hampshire Companies, a privately-held, fully-integrated real estate firm that has more than 60 years of hands-on, cycle-tested experience in acquiring, developing, leasing, repositioning, managing, financing and disposing of real estate. Founded by Jon F. Hanson, who served as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006, Hampshire is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Learn more at www.hampshirere.com.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy®, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments - a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®, Goodyear, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org.