Sept. 27, 2012
DALLAS, Tex. - The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that Cal senior offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin is a semifinalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy often referred to as the "Academic Heisman" and a candidate for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
The NFF's Scholar-Athlete Awards are presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. The 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, will recognize an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. A total of 147 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award candidates and Campbell Trophy semifinalists across all divisions of college football are vying for the honors.
"This year's candidates truly embody the National Football Foundation's mission of building leaders through football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are standouts in the classroom and on the field and have become leaders in their respective communities. Each school should take great pride in being represented by such well-rounded young men who will undoubtedly go on to do great things in life."
Summers-Gavin's selection continues Cal's strong tradition with the NFF honors in recent years. In 2008, Alex Mack won Campbell Trophy (named the Draddy Trophy at the time). Mike Mohamed was one of 16 Campbell Trophy finalists in 2010, while Giorgio Tavecchio was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist in 2011. Mack and Mohamed were also both recipients of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award.
Summers-Gavin has played in 33 games with 26 starts at either right (14) or left (12) tackle during his Cal career he first got on the field for the Golden Bears in 2009, with his 26 career starts the second most among Cal's active players. Summers-Gavin is also a Senior CLASS Award® candidate and on the watch list for the Outland Trophy given to college football's top interior lineman on either side of the ball. He earned first-team preseason All-Pac-12 honors from both Phil Steele and Blue Ribbon, while being named to the second team by Athlon and third team by Lindy's. He earned third-team All-Pac-12 honors from Steele and an honorable mention nod from the league's coaches in 2011. Summers-Gavin also was second-team Freshman All-American honors by Rivals and third-team Freshman All-American according to Steele as a 2009 freshman.
Summers-Gavin graduated in May of 2012 with a 3.268 GPA and is taking what is called a reduced course load to be eligible to play football as a fifth-year senior in 2012. Summers-Gavin is a three-time Pac-10/12 All-Academic selection, picking up second-team recognition as both a 2009 redshirt freshman and 2011 junior, as well as an honorable mention nod as a 2010 sophomore.
Off the field and out of the classroom, Summers-Gavin has volunteered extensively during his time at Cal primarily through the Sage Mentorship Program, spending two years volunteering at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley, tutoring and mentoring a young girl both in and out of the classroom in a "big brother" role. 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.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored December 4 during the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.
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 $10.1 million.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor ever in the 54-year history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF will present each of the faculty representatives with a plaque and a $5,000 check from Fidelity Investments to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.
The past recipients of the 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's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' 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); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); and Army's Andrew Rodriguez (2011).
Cal (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12) is next in action for its Pac-12 home opener against Arizona State (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) at Memorial Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 29 (1 p.m. PT). In addition to the upcoming home game against Arizona State, Cal has home games against Pac-12 foes UCLA (Oct. 6), Stanford (Oct. 20), Washington (Nov. 2) and Oregon (Nov. 10) remaining on its regular season docket. The team's road games left to be played are at Washington State (Oct. 13), Utah (Oct. 27) and Oregon State (Nov. 17).
Tickets for Cal's return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012 are currently on sale by calling (800) GO BEARS (800-462-3277), online at CalBears.com, or in person at the Sales and Service Center located in the Haas Pavilion Club Room Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. PT. More season-ticket information is available at CalBears.com.