Esley Thorton (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara)
IRVING, TEXAS – The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame today announced North Dakota State senior linebacker Esley Thorton (MHA Nation) from Bismarck, N.D., as one of 167 semifinalists for the 2014 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments® and hosted at the New York Athletic Club, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014.
The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation, and up to 16 of the candidates will be named recipients of a prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, also presented by Fidelity Investments. Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program awards $18,000 scholarships that can be used for the honorees’ postgraduate educations. This year’s recipients will be announced Oct. 30, and one will be declared the winner of the Campbell Trophy Dec. 9 at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner.
Named 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 award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $10.7 million.
“These 167 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.”
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.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights apply.
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