IRVING, Texas – The National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that three former Cal football players – defensive end Ted Agu, running back Mitchel Bartolo and offensive lineman Mark Brazinski – have been selected to the 2014 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. Agu, who passed away February 7, 2014, was honored posthumously.
Agu was a public health major with a 3.29 cumulative GPA and spent four seasons in the Cal football program from 2010-13. He was a second-team Pac-12 All-Academic choice as a junior in 2013. Agu played in 12 career games, contributing nine tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard).
Bartolo graduated in December of 2013 with a 3.68 cumulative grade point average and a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering science. He was with the Bears for five seasons (2009-13), playing in three games and contributing seven yards rushing on three carries.
Brazinski posted a 3.58 undergraduate GPA while earning two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Media Studies at Cal in May of 2012. He has been pursuing a master’s degree in Information Management Systems since August of 2012 and has a 3.67 graduate school GPA while he is on track to graduate in May of 2014. Brazinski was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, a candidate for a National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award and Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as well as a first-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection as a senior in 2013. He was also a first-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection in 2011. On the field, Brazinski was a four-year letterwinner who played in 10 games with four starts, with each of the starts coming as a senior in 2013.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their collegiate career. A total of 838 players from 267 schools qualified for membership in the society’s eighth year, setting an all-time record for the number of members in the program.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program 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 more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,927 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 2014 class of 838 players represents a new high water mark for members, eclipsing the old record by 117 student-athletes.
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 a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft) at an accredited 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-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's 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. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.
Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth and hosted at the New York City Athletic Club, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by All-American guard John Urschel (Penn State) in 2013, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Cal’s Alex Mack won the prestigious honor then known as the Draddy Trophy for his performance during the 2008 season.
Through its chapter networks the NFF also awards an additional $1.3 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.6 million.