Ohio State senior safety Jordan Fuller was named one of 12 finalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday.
The award, which is presented by Mazda, annually recognizes college football’s best scholar-athlete, and bases the decision on combined academic success, football performance, and exemplary leadership.
Fuller is a three-year starter for the Buckeyes and a two-time captain. He is currently tied for the team lead in tackles (41) with senior linebacker Malik Harrison. The two shared the team lead a year ago with 81. Fuller finished second on the team in 2017 with 70 tackles, just two behind leader Jerome Baker.
Fuller was also a First-Team Academic All-American last season and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He will graduate in December with a degree in Business Marketing.
Here is the full release from Ohio State.
Jordan Fuller A Finalist for 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy
Two-time captain recognized for academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University football safety and two-time team captain Jordan Fuller was today named a finalist for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy Presented by Mazda. The award, announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, annually recognizes the nation’s absolute best football scholar-athlete – all divisions and the NAIA – based on combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
Fuller and the 11 other finalists will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, and they will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10. One member of the class will be selected the winner of the 30th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Fuller, from Old Tappan (N.J.) High School, is Ohio State’s 22nd NFF National Scholar-Athlete and he is vying to become Ohio State’s third winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy, after Bobby Hoying (1995) and Craig Krenzel (2003). Only Nebraska, with 23 NFF Scholar-Athlete award winners, has more than Ohio State.
Most NFF National Scholar-Athletes
23 – Nebraska
22 – Ohio State
18 – Notre Dame
18 – Penn State
16 – Army
14 – Georgia
13 – USC
13 – Stanford
12 – Yale
11 – Texas
“The entire Ohio State football program is extremely proud of Jordan and for his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “He is a young man who has distinguished himself athletically, academically and leadership-wise, and I congratulate him and the 11 other outstanding student-athletes who are finalists for this most prestigious award.”
Criteria for the award is rigorous, and includes a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20, outstanding football ability, superior academic application and performance and exemplary school leadership and community citizenship. Fuller is outstanding in all four categories.
§ He carries an overall 3.601 grade point average in business marketing with an expected graduation date of this December.
§ He is only the 14th two-time team captain in school history and is leading the No. 3-ranked and undefeated Buckeyes in tackles with 41; this after consecutive seasons where he led back-to-back Big Ten Conference championship teams in tackles in 2018 and was second – by one tackle – in 2017.
§ He has earned virtually every academic award available to an undergraduate: first-team Academic All-American in 2018 (and a candidate again in 2019), second team Academic All-American in 2017, Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar in 2018, two Academic All-Big Ten Conference honors and three OSU Scholar-Athlete awards.
§ He is on the executive board for a campus organization called RAS, or redefining Athletic Standards. Among the handful of events he has helped organize and run as part of RAS include a Back-to-School Bash for local community children and a seminar titled The Buckeye Way: Sexuality, Identity and Relationships.
Fuller took part in the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute this summer as a “Bucks Go Pro” intern with the Anomaly Sports Group. He was a sports law intern and chose that area to “better understand the business side of sports.”
He has also worked the Columbus City Schools Special Olympics and the Football Special Skills Invitational. He spoke at a Celebration for Martin Luther King in January and this summer he represented the team, along with Jonathan Cooper and K.J. Hill, at Big Ten Conference media days.
Fuller and Malik Harrison lead Ohio State (8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten East Division) with 41 tackles this season and Fuller is second on the team with two interceptions. He has played in 46 career games, started 34 times and has 203 career tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss, 12 total passes defensed (five interceptions and seven PBUs) and two fumble recoveries.
The 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class
Spencer Blackburn – C, Eastern Washington (3.69 GPA majoring in economics & accounting)
Rodrigo Blankenship – PK, Georgia (3.71 GPA majoring in digital broadcast journalism)
Jordan Fuller – SAF, Ohio State (3.60 GPA majoring in business marketing)
Alex Goettl – LB, Minnesota State Mankato (3.93 GPA majoring in biomedical systems)
Justin Herbert – QB, Oregon (4.01 GPA majoring in biology)
Adam Holtorf – C, Kansas State (3.92 GPA majoring in agribusiness)
Michael Lohmeier – DE, Carnegie Mellon (PA) (4.00 GPA majoring in business administration)
Jordan Mack – LB, Virginia (3.47 GPA majoring in education)
Dante Olson – LB, Montana (3.90 GPA majoring in business administration/management)
Jelani Taylor – S, Cornell (3.96 GPA majoring in hotel administration)
Casey Toohill – LB, Stanford (3.71 GPA majoring in political science)
Jon Wassink – QB, Western Michigan (3.96 GPA majoring in accounting)
Ohio State’s 22 NFF National Scholar-Athletes
2019 Jordan Fuller
2015 Jacoby Boren
2008 Brian Robiskie
2003 Craig Krenzel
1999 Ahmed Plummer
1996 Greg Bellisari
1995 Bobby Hoying
1994 Joey Galloway
1992 Greg Smith
1990 Greg Frey
1989 Joe Staysniak
1985 Mike Lanese
1984 Dave Crecelius
1983 John Frank
1982 Joe Smith
1979 Jim Laughlin
1975 Brian Baschnagel
1973 Randy Gradishar
1970 Rex Kern
1968 David Foley
1965 Willard Sander
1964 Arnold Chonko
Full release from the National Football Foundation, including bios of each finalist.
IRVING, Texas (Oct. 30, 2019) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the finalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
The 12 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, and they will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 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 the winner of the 30th William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown and will be streamed live, with specific broadcast information to be announced at a later date.
Selected from a nationwide pool of 185 exceptional semifinalists from among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, the 12 finalists are:
|Spencer Blackburn||C||Eastern Washington||3.69||Economics & Accounting|
|Rodrigo Blankenship||PK||Georgia||3.71||Digital Broadcast Journalism|
|Jordan Fuller||S||Ohio State||3.60||Business Marketing|
|Alex Goettl||LB||Minnesota State||3.93||Biomedical Sciences|
|Justin Herbert||QB||Oregon||4.01||General Science|
|Adam Holtorf||C||Kansas State||3.92||Agribusiness|
|Michael Lohmeier||DE||Carnegie Mellon (PA)||4.00||Business Administration|
|Dante Olson||LB||Montana||3.90||Business Admin./Management|
|Jelani Taylor||S||Cornell||3.96||Hotel Administration|
|Casey Toohill||LB||Stanford||3.71||Political Science|
|Jon Wassink||QB||Western Michigan||3.96||Accounting|
“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. They serve as living examples that Football Matters®, and we are excited to honor their hard work and accomplishments with postgraduate scholarships.”
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda 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 NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year’s National Scholar-Athletes,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “Selected from an impressive group of semifinalists, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is also a leader in his respective community, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”
Following the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the recipient of the 2019 Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda will be honored at several other prestigious events. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, a luncheon will be held in his honor at the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), the official home of the trophy since 2013. From there, he will travel directly to Atlanta for ESPN’s “The Home Depot College Football Awards” at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, Dec. 12, where he will be interviewed live during the show. Finally, he will travel to New Orleans to be honored on the field during the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Jan. 13.
First awarded in 1990, The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former CEO and chairman of Intuit, a 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 a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $223,000 in scholarships will be awarded Dec. 10, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $11.7 million.
In September, Mazda announced a three-year partnership to become the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy®, kicking off the automaker’s Power of Potential Platform. To learn more about the Power of Potential Platform and see stories of how past recipients of the William V. Campbell Trophy Presented by Mazda are continuing to inspire others, please visit ESPN.com/MazdaPowerofPotential.
The Campbell Trophy® has previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and six first-round NFL draft picks.
1990 – Chris Howard (Air Force)
1991 – Brad Culpepper (Florida)
1992 – Jim Hansen (Colorado)
1993 – Thomas Burns (Virginia)
1994 – Robert Zatechka (Nebraska)
1995 – Bobby Hoying (Ohio State)
1996 – Danny Wuerffel (Florida)
1997 – Peyton Manning (Tennessee)
1998 – Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia)
1999 – Chad Pennington (Marshall)
2000 – Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska)
2001 – Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami [FL])
2002 – Brandon Roberts (Washington U. in St. Louis [MO])
2003 – Craig Krenzel (Ohio State)
2004 – Michael Munoz (Tennessee)
2005 – Rudy Niswanger (LSU)
2006 – Brian Leonard (Rutgers)
2007 – Dallas Griffin (Texas)
2008 – Alex Mack (California)
2009 – Tim Tebow (Florida)
2010 – Sam Acho (Texas)
2011 – Andrew Rodriguez (Army West Point)
2012 – Barrett Jones (Alabama)
2013 – John Urschel (Penn State)
2014 – David Helton (Duke)
2015 – Ty Darlington (Oklahoma)
2016 – Zach Terrell (Western Michigan)
2017 – Micah Kiser (Virginia)
2018 – Christian Wilkins (Clemson)
The NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships for combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Including the 2019 recipients, the NFF has honored 866 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards. The honorees have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs and 43 PhDs. Continuing their excellence on the field, more than 200 recipients have played in the NFL with an average career of six seasons or double the length of a typical NFL player. Past recipients also include 13 Rhodes Scholars.
The members of this year’s class find themselves among some of the most elite student-athletes in the history of the game, including NFL standout Drew Brees (Purdue); actor and 2019 NFF Gold Medal recipient Mark Harmon (UCLA); Robert Morris University President Chris Howard (Air Force); XFL Commissioner & CEO Oliver Luck (West Virginia); NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins (Illinois) and Leland Melvin (Richmond); and 38 College Football Hall of Famers, including 2019 electee Joe Thomas (Wisconsin). Click here for a database of all the past NFF National Scholar-Athletes.
Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, serves as the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. As part of its support, Fidelity helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with a finalist for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda. The NFF presents each of the faculty athletics representatives with a plaque and Fidelity donates $5,000 for the academic support services at each school. The salutes have recognized 127 FARs since the program’s inception, and Fidelity has made a total of $630,000 (including $60,000 this year) in donations.
2019 NFF Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda Finalists Highlights
- 3.82 Average GPA
- 12 Captains, including 4 two-year captains (Blackburn, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert)
- 3 players who have already graduated (Blankenship, Holtorf, Wassink), with 7 more on track to graduate in December (Blackburn, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert, Mack, Olson, Toohill)
- 9 Academic All-America selections (Fuller-2x, Goettl, Herbert-2x, Holtorf-2x, Lohmeier-2x)
- 12 Academic All-Conference athletes
- 3 All-America performers (Blackburn, Mack, Olson)
- 7 All-Conference selections (Blackburn, Blankenship, Goettl, Herbert, Lohmeier, Olson, Wassink)
- 5 members of conference championship teams (Blackburn, Blankenship, Fuller, Goettl, Lohmeier)
- 3 school record holders (Blankenship, Herbert, Olson)
- 4 members of playoff teams (CFP – Blankenship, Fuller; FCS – Blackburn; Division II – Goettl)
- 6 members of ranked teams (Blankenship, Fuller, Goettl, Herbert, Holtorf, Olson)
- 4 Offensive Players (Blackburn, Herbert, Holtorf, Wassink)
- 7 Defensive Players (Fuller, Goettl, Lohmeier, Mack, Olson, Taylor, Toohill)
- 1 Special Teams Player (Blankenship)
In addition to the presentation of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, and The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner will include the induction of the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the presentation of several major awards.
2019 Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda Finalist Bios
Spencer Blackburn, C – Eastern Washington University
Head Coach: Aaron Best | Athletics Director: Lynn Hickey
Faculty Athletics Representative: Laurie Morley
Spencer Blackburn has taken full advantage of his collegiate experience, boasting a double major while leading Eastern Washington to two conference titles. The Bellingham, Washington, native deservedly becomes the Eagles’ first NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Boasting a 3.69 GPA as a double major, Blackburn has already completed the degree requirements for an economics degree and will finish his accounting degree this fall. The 2018 First Team Academic All-District selection is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference honoree and was named to the 2017 FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team.
This season, Blackburn has been the anchor of an offense that leads the Big Sky Conference and is tied for sixth in the FCS with 481 total yards per game. The two-year captain has a streak of 45 consecutive starts since taking over at center in the fourth game of the 2016 season.
Blackburn earned Second Team All-America honors in 2018 after earning Second Team All-Big Sky recognition for the third consecutive year. As a junior, he guided Eastern Washington to an appearance in the FCS Championship Game and the No. 2 final ranking as the national runner-up. Blackburn led an offense in 2018 that set school records for single-season rushing yards (3,839) and rushing touchdowns (41), and he helped the Eagles finish the season as the only school to rank in the FCS top 20 in total offense, rushing and passing. The 2016 Hero Sports Sophomore All-American has guided EWU to Big Sky titles in 2016 and 2018 and an FCS Semifinals appearance in 2016.
The inaugural recipient of EWU’s Golden EKG (Eastern Kind of Guy) Award in 2017, Blackburn sets a great example off the field. He participates in the team’s annual youth football clinics and elementary school reading programs while volunteering the HUB 360 program and Special Olympics.
Rodrigo Blankenship, PK – University of Georgia
Head Coach: Kirby Smart | Athletics Director: Greg McGarity
Faculty Athletics Representative: David Shipley
After starting his career at Georgia as a walk-on, Rodrigo Blankenship has already earned his degree while becoming one of the best kickers in school history. The Marietta, Georgia, native’s outstanding résumé earned his spot as the Bulldogs’ 14th NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
After graduating cum laude in December 2018 with a degree in digital broadcast journalism, Blankenship was awarded with the Billy Payne Award as a Georgia football player who graduated with at least a 3.0 GPA. A 2017 Academic All-District honoree, he is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time member of the Dean’s List. A member of the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll every semester of his career, Blankenship was awarded the football team’s 2019 Senior GPA and 2017 Sophomore GPA awards.
This season, Blankenship has made 12-of-14 field goals while remaining a perfect 30-30 on PATs. A game captain, he has also averaged 60.5 yards per kickoff, with just six of his 46 kicks returned, while guiding the Bulldogs (6-1) to the No. 8 ranking. Blankenship has been named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week three times this season after strong performances in wins against Vanderbilt, Notre Dame and Tennessee.
Georgia’s all-time career field goal percentage leader at 83.33 percent, Blankenship currently ranks fourth on the school’s all-time career scoring list with 379 points. The two-time Groza Award semifinalist has connected on a school-record 184 consecutive PATs, which ranks second all-time in the SEC. In 2018, Blankenship claimed Second Team All-SEC honors after leading the Bulldogs to the SEC East title and a No. 7 final ranking while finishing second in the NCAA with 82 touchbacks. In 2017, he helped Georgia win the SEC title and earn a No. 2 final ranking after the Bulldogs advanced to the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship. The same postseason, he set a Rose Bowl record with a career-long 55-yard field goal in a double overtime win against Oklahoma in a CFP Semifinal. The 2016 Freshman All-American owns the third- and fourth-highest single-season scoring totals for a kicker in Bulldog history.
A member of the 2018 AFCA Good Works Team and SEC Community Service Team, Blankenship was inducted into the UGA Athletic Association’s Leadership Education and Development program. The 2019 Wuerffel Trophy nominee has volunteered with numerous initiatives and charities, including the American Red Cross, Read Across America, Madison County Food Bank, the Hunger Bowl Competition and the Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer golf tournament.
Jordan Fuller, S – Ohio State University
Head Coach: Ryan Day | Athletics Director: Gene Smith
Faculty Athletics Representative: John Davidson
A preeminent scholar-athlete, Jordan Fuller is on pace to graduate in December while leading Ohio State in tackles for the second consecutive season. He becomes the Buckeyes’ 22nd NFF National Scholar-Athlete, the second most among all schools.
A two-time Academic All-American, Fuller earned First Team honors in 2018 and Second Team laurels in 2017. Boasting a 3.60 GPA, the 2018 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar is on track to graduate this December with a degree in business marketing. The Old Tappan, New Jersey, native has twice earned Academic All-Big Ten and First Team Academic All-District honors. Fuller is a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and a four-time Dean’s List selection.
For the second consecutive season, Fuller is the leading tackler for the No. 3-ranked Buckeyes (8-0) as he is currently tied for the team-lead with 41 stops in 2019 while boasting two interceptions. A two-year captain, he heads a unit that leads the FBS in passing defense (132.8 yards per game) and scoring defense (7.9 points per game) while ranking second in both the Big Ten and the FBS in total defense (224.3 yards per game).
A four-year letterman, Fuller earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2018 and Third Team All-Big Ten laurels in 2017. Ohio State’s active career leader in tackles (203), he led the team with 81 as a junior and finished second with 70 as a sophomore. The Buckeyes have posted an impressive 44-5 record during Fuller’s career. He has led the Buckeyes to back-to-back Big Ten titles (2017 and 2018), three consecutive top 10 finishes (No. 3 in 2018, No. 5 in 2017, No. 6 in 2016) and victories in the 2019 Rose Bowl and 2017 Cotton Bowl. In 2016, Fuller helped Ohio State earn a share of the Big Ten East Division title and a spot in in the CFP Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl.
Making a difference off the field, Fuller helped create a seminar called “The Buckeye Way: Sexuality, Identity, and Relationships” to educate student-athletes on sexual assault, sexual violence and healthy relationships. The 2019 Wuerffel Trophy nominee is also part of the leadership team and has organized multiple events for Redefining Athletic Standards (RAS), an organization with the goal of giving black student-athletes on campus a voice. Fuller’s numerous other activities include participating in the Bucks Go Pro summer internship program working as a sports law intern with Anomaly Sports Group and partnering with SHEROS on a back-to-school bash that provided more than 700 book bags to underprivileged children.
Alex Goettl, LB – Minnesota State University, Mankato
Head Coach: Todd Hoffner | Athletics Director: Kevin Buisman
Faculty Athletics Representatives: Jeffrey Pribyl
A two-year team captain for the No. 3-ranked team in Division II, Alex Goettl boasts a near-perfect GPA. The standout linebacker deservedly becomes the Mavericks’ first NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
On track to graduate this December, the Mankato, Minnesota, native boasts a 3.93 GPA in biomedical sciences. A 2018 First Team Academic All-American and Academic All-District selection, Goettl has twice earned Academic All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference recognition.
This season, Goettl has recorded 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and two fumble recoveries while leading the undefeated Mavericks (8-0) to the No. 3 ranking in Division II. The two-year captain guides a unit that leads Division II in scoring defense, allowing just 8.8 points per game. The Mavericks also lead the NSIC and rank fourth in D-II in rushing defense (60.8 yards per game) and rank second in the conference and D-II in total defense (219.1 yards per game).
A four-year letterman, Goettl earned first team all-conference and second team all-super region honors after leading Minnesota State with 87 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss in 2018. He has guided the Mavericks to back-to-back conference titles in 2017 and 2018 and consecutive Division II Playoff appearances, including a trip to the semifinals in 2018. Goettl’s top games in 2018 included a career-high 11-tackle performance against Winona State (MN) and a game against St. Cloud State (MN) where he returned a fumble for a touchdown, earning NSIC Defensive Player of the Week. He currently boasts 171 career tackles, including 19 for loss and 6.5 sacks.
A member of the Minnesota State football steering committee, Goettl was selected to wear the team’s No. 49 “Jersey of Character.” He is a certified nursing assistant at Oak Terrace assisted living center and has volunteered with park clean-ups, Climb to Feed, Echo food shelf and elementary school science fair judging.
Justin Herbert, QB – University of Oregon
Head Coach: Mario Cristobal | Athletics Director: Rob Mullens
Faculty Athletics Representative: Tim Gleason
Maintaining a remarkable 4.01 GPA, Justin Herbert is the reigning Football Academic All-American of the Year and ranks in the top four in nearly every Oregon passing category. The home-grown native of Eugene, Oregon, becomes the Ducks’ third NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Herbert is set to graduate this December with a degree in science, and he plans to attend medical school one day. The 2018 Academic All-American of the Year has twice been named a First Team Academic All-American. He is a two-time First Team Academic All-District selection and a two-time Academic All-Pac-12 honoree.
This season, Herbert has guided the Ducks to a 7-1 start and the No. 7 ranking while completing 179 passes for 2,104 yards, the second-most passing yards in the Pac-12. A semifinalist for the 2019 Maxwell Award, his 21 passing touchdowns rank second in the Pac-12 and are tied for eighth in the FBS, and his 15 touchdown passes through the first five games of the season matched an Oregon record. Herbert is one of only two FBS quarterbacks in 2019 with 20 touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions, having not thrown an interception in 131 consecutive pass attempts, the second-longest active streak in the nation. He was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after completing 24 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns in Oregon’s 35-31 win at then-No. 25 Washington on Oct. 19.
Herbert currently ranks second in Ducks’ history in career passing yards (9,174), touchdown passes (84) and completions (720), trailing only Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota in all three categories. The two-year captain’s career pass attempts (1,127) rank third in Oregon annals while his .639 completion percentage is tied for second. A semifinalist for the 2018 Davey O’Brien and Maxwell awards, Herbert earned Phil Steele First Team All-Pac-12 honors that season after becoming just the fifth Duck quarterback with a 3,000-yard passing season. The first true freshman to start at quarterback for Oregon since 1983, he became the fastest player in program history to reach 4,000 passing yards (17 games) and 5,000 passing yards (21 games). Herbert has led the Ducks to consecutive bowl berths, including a win over Michigan State in the 2018 Redbox Bowl.
Active off the field, Herbert participated in the O Heroes “Court for Kids” service trip to Uganda in 2018, and he has helped prepare Thanksgiving baskets for disadvantaged families for multiple years. He has hosted local school children at football practices and appeared at various community service events the last three years, including field days, sports award programs and Special Olympics events.
Adam Holtorf, C – Kansas State University
Head Coach: Chris Klieman | Athletics Director: Gene Taylor
Faculty Athletics Representative: Be Stoney
A team captain pursuing an MBA, Adam Holtorf has excelled on and off the field at the highest levels as a Kansas State student-athlete. The Seward, Nebraska, native becomes the school’s seventh NFF National Scholar-Athlete and second in a row following Dalton Risner in 2018.
After graduating in 3.5 years in December 2018 with a 3.92 GPA in agribusiness and a minor in leadership, Holtorf currently maintains a 3.80 GPA in pursuit of an MBA. A two-time Academic All-American, he earned First Team honors in 2018 and Second Team recognition in 2017. The standout center is also a two-time First Team Academic All-District and two-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection.
A team captain for the No. 22-ranked Wildcats (5-2), Holtorf anchors an offense that is averaging 377.1 total yards per game in 2019. Kansas State also averaging 199.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks fifth in the Big 12. In their five victories this season, Holtorf and K-State are outscoring their opponents 204-96, and he helped lead the Wildcats to a 48-41 upset of then-No. 5 Oklahoma on Oct. 26. Dating back to his sophomore season in 2017, he has made 32 consecutive starts at center.
The top returning interior lineman in the Big 12 in terms of quarterback pressure rate (1.1%), Holtorf has helped the Wildcats rank in the top three of the conference in rushing yards per game in each of the last three seasons. He has helped K-State to consecutive victories in the 2016 Texas Bowl and the 2017 Cactus Bowl in which he helped block for a school bowl-record 344 rushing yards. During the 2017 season, Holtorf helped the Wildcats finish with 2,584 total rushing yards and 4.98 rushing yards per carry, good for seventh and third most in school history, respectively.
Holtorf was a member of the Senior Cats from 2016-18, and he has participated in the Cats in the Classroom program since 2016. He also volunteers with the Special Olympics, participated in the THRIVE! Flint Hills initiative and assisted with the Seward High School youth football camp for four years.
Michael Lohmeier, DE – Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
Head Coach: Rich Lackner | Athletics Director: Josh Centor
Faculty Athletics Representative: Susan Polansky
A two-time Academic All-American with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Michael Lohmeier is the epitome of the scholar-athlete ideal. The Clarendon Hills, Illinois, native becomes Carnegie Mellon’s fifth NFF National Scholar-Athlete overall and its second in the last three years.
On pace to graduate in May with a degree in business administration, Lohmeier earned First Team Academic All-America honors in 2018 and Second Team Academic All-America accolades in 2017. The standout defensive end is a two-time Academic All-District honoree, UAA President’s Scholar-Athlete Team member and Academic All-UAA selection. Inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Lohmeier is a three-time PAC Academic Honor Roll member and six-time Dean’s list honoree.
This season, Lohmeier is tied for third on the Tartans (6-2) with 40 tackles and also boasts seven sacks and a team-high 14 tackles for loss. He also has two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. The team captain leads a unit that leads the PAC in scoring defense (12.8 points per game) and total defense (273.9 yards per game). He was named the PAC Defensive Athlete of the Week and was selected to the D3football.com Team of the Week after turning in a career game with 11 tackles, four tackles for a loss and two sacks in a 23-3 win over Waynesburg (PA) on Oct. 12.
A two-time First Team All-UAA performer, Lohmeier helped Carnegie Mellon to UAA titles in 2018 and 2016 as well as back-to-back ECAC bowl games as a freshman and sophomore. The two-time Honorable Mention All-PAC selection currently ranks fifth in Tartan history with 18 career sacks, and he boasts 103 total tackles during his time in Pittsburgh.
The president of Carnegie Mellon’s Investment Banking Club, Lohmeier has gotten a jump start on his future business career by previously serving as an analyst at Lazard in New York City, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Chicago and Robotti Securities & Company in New York. The philanthropy and fundraising chair for Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity has served as a Special Olympics volunteer and served as the team liaison for the football program’s annual fundraiser for the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.
Jordan Mack, LB – University of Virginia
Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall | Athletics Director: Carla Williams
Faculty Athletics Representative: Carrie Heilman
A team captain on pace to graduate this fall, Jordan Mack has been a key piece to the resurgence of Virginia football. The Lithonia, Georgia, native becomes Virginia’s sixth NFF National Scholar-Athlete overall and its second in the last three years.
Boasting a 3.47 GPA, Mack is on track to graduate in December after 3.5 years with a degree in education and an emphasis on youth and social innovation. The standout linebacker is a two-time ACC All-Academic Team member and a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection.
Boasting 44 tackles so far in 2019, Mack leads UVA and is tied atop the ACC with seven sacks. He also boasts eight tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Mack is the leader of a Cavalier squad that ranks second in the ACC and 11th in the FBS in total defense, allowing just 281.5 yards per game. UVA also ranks second in the ACC and 10th in the FBS in passing defense (169.1 yards per game).
In his career to date, Mack boasts 264 tackles, including 25 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. Despite missing four games with an injury in 2018, he finished second on the Cavaliers with 66 tackles as a junior. As a sophomore in 2017, Mack finished fifth in the ACC with 114 tackles, joining teammates Quin Blanding and Campbell Trophy® winner Micah Kiser as part of the only trio of players from a “Power Five” school with at least 100 tackles in the same season. He has led UVA to consecutive bowl games, including a win over South Carolina in the 2018 Belk Bowl. A four-year letterman, Mack earned Honorable Mention Freshman All-America honors from Campus Insiders and Second Team Freshman All-ACC recognition from Athlon Sports.
Mack volunteers with Kindness Café + Play, which employs people with cognitive disabilities, and he has participated in UVA’s “Thursday’s Heroes” program, hosting medically ill children and their families at the school’s football facilities. He also mentors elementary school students at the Boys & Girls Club and visits sick children at hospitals throughout the year.
Dante Olson, LB – University of Montana
Head Coach: Bobby Hauck | Athletics Director: Kent Haslam
Faculty Athletics Representative: Charles Palmer
A First Team All-American on the field with a 3.90 GPA in the classroom, Dante Olson is a shining example of what a scholar-athlete can achieve. The Medford, Oregon, native is Montana’s fifth NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
A 2018 FCS ADA Academic All-Star, Olson is on track to graduate in December with a degree in business administration/management and a minor in entertainment management. A three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection, he has been named to the President’s Honor Roll four times and the Dean’s List three times. Olson is also a two-time recipient of Montana’s William Robertson Memorial Scholarship.
This season, Olson has guided Montana to the No. 8 national ranking while leading the Grizzlies and the Big Sky with 99 tackles, which ranks second in the FCS. He also leads the team with six tackles for loss while boasting one sack, one interception and one forced fumble. The team captain’s 317 career tackles rank seventh all-time in Grizzlies history
A First Team All-American in 2018, Olson led the all of Division I (FBS and FCS) with 13.7 tackles per game while his 151 tackles established a new single-season Montana record. He was named the 2018 FCS Defensive Player of the Year by Phil Steele while finishing in the top three for the FCS Buck Buchanan Award. The 2018 Phil Steele Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year has twice earned all-conference honors, including first team accolades as a junior and second team recognition as a sophomore. The 2018 team MVP has twice been named the Grizzlies’ Hauck Family Special Teams Player of the Year in his career (2016 and 2017).
A member of the 2019 AFCA Good Works Team, Olson has served as a pen-pal mentor for nearly two years to a class of underprivileged children in Northern California, encouraging them to pursue a college education as part of the No Excuses University program. He has also helped organize Montana’s “Be the Match” bone marrow registration drive, and he is an avid anti-bullying advocate, speaking to numerous students and providing his own testimony through the “Fields of Faith” initiative.
Jelani Taylor, S – Cornell University
Head Coach: David Archer | Athletics Director: Andy Noel
Faculty Athletics Representative: John Sipple
A standout safety boasting a 3.96 GPA while facing the rigors of an Ivy League education, Jelani Taylor has overcome numerous obstacles to become Cornell’s third NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
A 2018 Academic All-District and Academic All-Ivy League selection, Taylor is on track to graduate in May with a degree from Cornell’s prestigious school of hotel administration. Earlier this month, he was named the 2019 recipient of one of the university’s highest honors, the Richie Moran Award, which is presented annually to a senior student-athlete who has distinguished himself/herself through “academics, athletics and ambassadorship.” A member of the 400 Club for student-athletes with a semester GPA of 4.0, Taylor was selected to receive the PSP Excellence Award and is a five-time Dean’s List honoree.
This season, Taylor leads Cornell and is tied for third in the Ivy League with 42 tackles while also boasting two interceptions. Against Harvard on Oct. 12, the team captain posted a career-high 12 tackles along with an interception and three pass breakups. A week later against Colgate, Taylor returned a fumble 87 yards for a touchdown, marking the longest fumble return in Cornell history.
As junior in 2018, Taylor led the Big Red and was seventh in the Ivy League with 72 tackles and his nine pass breakups were tied for the most in the conference. The Beecher, Michigan, native is a three-year starter and currently boasts 153 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 26 pass breakups in his career.
Taylor is an inspiration to others after overcoming dire circumstances while growing up outside of Flint, Michigan, which included a point while he was in high school that he and his family were homeless. A two-year member of the Cornell football team’s Leadership Cabinet, he tutored and advised students in financial accounting, quantitative analysis and anthropology of money, serving student-athletes and multicultural students within the School of Hotel Administration with a goal to help them excel in their coursework. Taylor served as a summer intern in the office of Cornell’s Executive Vice President & CFO, and he was chosen to represent the Big Red at the 2019 Ivy League Football Media Day at ESPN.
Casey Toohill, LB – Stanford University
Head Coach: David Shaw | Athletics Director: Bernard Muir
Faculty Athletics Representative: Jeffrey Koseff
A three-time academic all-conference selection who currently leads Stanford in tackles and sacks, Casey Toohill’s résumé places him among the best and brightest in the nation. The San Diego native becomes the Cardinal’s 13th NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Boasting a 3.71 GPA, Toohill is on track to graduate this December with a degree in political science. A three-time Academic All-Pac-12 selection, he earned First Team honors in 2016 and 2018 and Second Team laurels in 2017. The standout linebacker was also an Academic All-District selection in 2017.
Boasting a team-high 45 tackles in 2019, Toohill also leads Stanford with 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, which are tied for fifth and rank third in the Pac-12, respectively. In the 2019 season-opener against Northwestern, Toohill forced a fumble in the final minutes that resulted in a Stanford touchdown to seal a victory. Against Oregon on Sept. 21, he recorded a career-high two sacks and finished tied for the team lead with eight tackles.
A three-year letterman, Toohill helped Stanford to the 2017 Pac-12 North Division title and two top 20 finishes (No. 12 in 2016, No. 20 in 2017). He has guided the Cardinal to three consecutive bowl berths, including wins in the 2016 and 2018 Sun Bowls and an appearance in the 2017 Alamo Bowl. For his career, Toohill boasts 117 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.
An example in the community, Toohill is a regular visitor at Stanford Children’s Hospital, and he has participated in numerous reading programs at schools in the East Palo Alto area. He works with the football team’s “Set the Expectation” program, which pledges to combat domestic violence, and he is a member of Team IMPACT, which sponsored a 13-year-old pediatric cancer patient. Toohill also helped San Francisco non-profit Hospitality House receive a grant and is active within Stanford’s Catholic community.
Jon Wassink, QB – Western Michigan University
Head Coach: Tim Lester | Athletics Director: Kathy Beauregard
Faculty Athletics Representative: Lisa DeChano-Cook
A team captain who earned his accounting degree while boasting an impressive 3.96 GPA, Jon Wassink becomes Western Michigan’s third NFF National Scholar-Athlete, continuing the legacy set by fellow Bronco quarterbacks Tim Hiller and Zach Terrell, the 2016 Campbell Trophy® recipient.
After graduating summa cum laude in December 2018, Wassink currently carries a 4.0 GPA in pursuit of a master’s degree in accounting. A 2017 Academic All-District selection, he has twice been selected as both an Academic All-MAC honoree and a MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete. A member of the Dean’s List every semester of his career, Wassink was the recipient of the 2017 WMU John Gill Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest GPA on the football team.
This season, Wassink has completed 169 passes for 2,273 yards and 16 touchdowns while also rushing for 119 yards and two more scores. His passing yards lead the MAC and rank 11th in the FBS while his passing touchdowns are good for second in the conference. Following the Broncos’ season-opener, Wassink was named the MAC West Division Co-Offensive Player of the Week after completing 20-of-25 passes for 368 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-13 win over Monmouth.
Wassink’s career 5,658 passing yards, 46 passing touchdowns, 444 completions, 718 passing attempts and .62 completion percentage all rank in the top 10 in Western Michigan history. The Grand Rapids, Michigan, native has posted five 300-yard passing games in his career. Named a Third Team All-MAC performer by Phil Steele in 2018 and 2017, Wassink helped the Broncos to an appearance in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He was also a member of the 2016 team that played in the 2017 Cotton Bowl and finished the season ranked No. 15 nationally.
A 2019 Wuerffel Trophy nominee, Wassink participated in a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to help repair fences and a community bridge used daily by 100 villagers. A four-year mentor with the “Bronco Buddies” program at the Tree of Life, he also serves as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader, helps feed the homeless with the “Ministry with Community” initiative and is a member of WMU’s Uplifting Athletes chapter.