DALLAS, October 29, 2009 - The National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame (NFF) today announced the 2009 National Scholar-Athlete class, who will vie as the finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth. Brown senior offensive tackle Paul Jasinowski was selected as one of the 16 finalists for the prestigious award that will be presented on December 8, 2009 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Selected as the best and the brightest from the college gridiron, from a nationwide pool of 154 semifinalists among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, the 16 members of the 2009 class are:
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE - POSITION - SCHOOL - GPA
• JON ASAMOAH - OG - University of Illinois - 3.82
• MATT BAUMAN - LB - Brigham Young University - 3.91
• ERIC DECKER - WR - University of Minnesota - 3.42
• MOSES HARRIS - S - Fresno State - 3.56
• TIM HILLER - QB - Western Michigan University - 4.00
• PAUL JASINOWSKI - OT - Brown University - 3.70
• BEAU KILDOW - WR - Morningside College (Iowa) - 4.00
• JOSH MAHONEY - LB - University of Northern Iowa - 4.00
• COLT McCOY - QB - University of Texas - 3.33
• JARRELL NeSMITH - TE - Tusculum College (Tenn.) - 3.84
• JOE PAWELEK - LB - Baylor University - 3.71
• TODD REESING - QB - University of Kansas - 3.64
• ZaVIOUS ROBBINS - WR - Hardin- Simmons University (Texas) - 3.90
• TIM TEBOW - QB - University of Florida - 3.66
• BLAINE WESTEMEYER - OT - Augustana College (Ill.) - 3.93
• REED WILLIAMS - LB - West Virginia University - 3.86
"There is no doubt that this year's class of NFF National Scholar-Athletes is one of the greatest of all time," said NFF President CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "Mediocrity is not in their lexicon in any aspect of their lives. They have exhibited the same drive to compete in the classroom that distinguished them on the field, and they have found the time to be leaders in their communities too. We will be very excited and proud to name one of these extraordinary young men the recipient of the 20th Anniversary William V. Campbell Trophy on Dec. 8."
The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in the history to award scholar-athletes post graduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year's class members finds themselves in good company, as former National Scholar-Athletes include NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker (Oregon State), Gary Beban (UCLA), Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida).
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Selected by the NFF Awards Committee, the 16 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients will be honored at the 2009 NFF Annual Awards Dinner December 8 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The event will also include the induction of the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame and the presentation of several major awards.
"The 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class boasts the highest average GPA in the history of our awards," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are truly the best of the best among all college sports and the epitome of our mission to build leaders through football. Bob Mulcahy and the NFF Awards Committee should be credited for the research, time and commitment it took to select this outstanding group."
Each finalist will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and one of the 16 will be announced as the recipient of the 20th Anniversary William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth (and formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar- athlete in the nation. Renamed this fall 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 a $25,000 post- graduate scholarship. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Notes
• 3.77 Average GPA, including three class members with a perfect 4.00 GPA
• 16-of-16 Team Captains
• 14-of-16 Academic All-Conference Athletes
• 14-of-16 All-Conference Athletes
• Seven ESPN The Magazine Academic All- America Selections (Bauman, Mahoney, NeSmith, Pawelek, Tebow, Westemeyer, Williams)
• Six All-America Picks (Kildow, McCoy, NeSmith, Pawelek, Tebow, Westemeyer)
• One Heisman Trophy Winner (Tebow)
• Five National Major Awards Won (McCoy, Tebow)
• Three Bowl Game MVPs (McCoy -- Alamo, Holiday and Tostitos Fiesta, Tebow -- FedEx BCS National Championship, Williams -- Tostitos Fiesta)
• Five Members of Nationally Ranked Teams (Kildow, Mahoney, McCoy, Tebow, Williams)
• Eight Members of Conference Championship Teams (Bauman, Jasinowski, Kildow, Mahoney, NeSmith, Tebow, Westemeyer, Williams)
• Three Members of National Playoff Teams (Kildow, Mahoney, NeSmith)
• Eleven Offensive Players (Asamoah, Decker, Hiller, Jasinowski, Kildow, McCoy, NeSmith, Reesing, Robbins, Tebow, Westemeyer)
• Five Defensive Players (Bauman, Harris, Mahoney, Pawelek, Williams)
BIOS FOR THE 2009 NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD WINNERS
Offensive Tackle, Brown University
Economics Urban Studies - 3.70 GPA
Brown's Paul Jasinowski has had no problems balancing an Ivy-League education with success on the football field. Head coach Phil Estes agrees, noting that Paul "attacks everything he does with great passion, great focus and with lots of success. He's the complete student-athlete."
In the classroom, the Washington D.C. native is an Ivy League Honor Roll member with a 3.70 GPA. After graduating with a double major in Economics and Urban Studies, he plans to pursue an MBA.
A two-time All-Ivy player, Jasinowski has anchored an offensive line that led the Ivy League in sacks given up (7) en route to Brown's Ivy League Championship. During his sophomore season, the Bears led the Ivy League in total offense and passing offense. As a junior, Jasinowki and the offensive line led the way to Brown's offense being ranked first in the Ivy in scoring at 29.3 points per game. This season, Brown leads the Ivy League in total offense and points per game as well as sacks against.
For three years, Jasinowski has been a coordinator and leader of a weekly volunteer group for special needs students at Fox Point Elementary School. In 2008, he was awarded the Chris Perry Community Service Award, given to a Brown football player who is the most involved in the community and exhibits the qualities of "scholarship, leadership and concern for others". He also co-coordinated a fundraiser event to benefit the fight against cancer called Bench Press for Cancer.
Jasinowski follows 2005's Nick Hartigan as the Bears' sixth NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
(In alphabetical order)
Offensive Guard, University of Illinois
Community Health - 3.82 GPA
A three-year letterman for the Illini, Asamoah has started three years for one of the Big Ten's best rushing offenses while excelling in the classroom to become Illinois' fourth NFF National-Scholar Athlete this decade.
Academically, he is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and has been named to both the Dean's List and honor roll during his time in Champaign. In 2008, the offensive lineman was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team.
Asamoah has started 31 consecutive games for the Illini at offensive guard. As a sophomore, he started 13 games on the Illinois team that racked up 445 yards against USC in the Rose Bowl and led the Big Ten in rushing. Individually, he recorded 80 knockdowns and took part in 991 plays. Last season, he helped the Illini lead the Big Ten in total offense and pass offense en route to being named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection. In 2009, Illinois ranks in the top five of the Big Ten in rushing yards and first downs.
A Park Forest, Ill., native, Asamoah has served in the Illini Leadership Academy the last three years. He was also an active volunteer in Hometown Heroes, an Illinois community service program.
Linebacker, Brigham Young University
Finance - 3.91 GPA
The Cougars' team captain and a two-year starter at linebacker, Matt Bauman is BYU's fourth NFF National Scholar-Athlete and its first since 2000.
A 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, Bauman's 3.91 GPA ranks first on the BYU team and has landed him on the Dean's List multiple times. Named three times to the Academic All-MWC team, Bauman is a recipient of the Chad Lewis Flag Bearer Award for Integrity and has registered a perfect 4.0 three semesters.
Bauman started the final four games as a freshman and registered 30 tackles before taking a two-year hiatus to serve on a mission. Bauman returned in 2007 and saw action in all 13 games that season, including a game against Wyoming where he posted a season-high seven tackles. During his junior year, he led the team in tackles with 108, including 50 solo takedowns. He started all 13 games and posted a career-high 13 tackles against UNLV. To date, Bauman has recorded 205 career tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss, including 5.5 sacks.
In addition to his two-year mission in Harrisburg, Pa., Bauman's community service record includes coaching a group of special needs children and visiting the local juvenile detention center to speak to troubled youth. An Eagle Scout from Salt Lake City, Utah, he also participated in a Valentine dance at a local nursing home and speaks several times a month at youth meetings.
Wide Receiver, University of Minnesota
Marketing - 3.42 GPA
The most decorated receiver in Gopher history, Eric Decker owns the Minnesota record for career receptions and career yards. He is the fourth Gopher named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, following Greg Eslinger in 2005.
Already having graduated with a B.S. in Business and Marketing Education, the three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection is working towards his Master's Degree in Sports Management. In 2008, Decker earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors and is a three-time scholar athlete award winner at Minnesota.
A Biletnikoff Award finalist as a junior, he was a consensus First Team All-Big Ten selection and named All-America Honorable Mention by SI.com. During his sophomore season, he was named recipient of the Bruce Smith Award, given to the team's outstanding offensive player. Decker set a Minnesota record for single season receptions with 67, a record he broke the next year with 84 receptions. This season, the two-time captain has caught 50 passes for 758 yards and five touchdowns, currently ranking second in the Big Ten in receiving yards. Decker boasts a 37-game streak of at least one reception and has hauled in 227 receptions for 3,119 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career.
A native of Cold Spring, Minn., Decker is extremely active around the community and has frequently worked with HopeKids, which provides a unique support community for children with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions. He also frequently visits local hospitals and reads to elementary school students.
Safety, Fresno State
Finance - 3.56 GPA
A finance major who graduated in last May, Fresno State's Moses Harris is described by head coach Pat Hill as "the epitome of a Bulldog student-athlete and a major contributor to the academic and social leadership of our team". Harris is currently pursuing an MBA from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State.
Moses is an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award winner and has won Fresno State's Bulldog Spirit Award. He is a three-time Academic All-WAC selection and a two- time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. He has been named to both the President's and Dean's lists and spent Summer 2008 studying International Finance in Hong Kong.
A three-year starter, Harris was a 2008 Second Team All-WAC selection, ranking third on the team with 75 tackles, which included four tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he blocked two kicks and recorded a career- high 10 tackles versus Louisiana Tech. Currently, he ranks second on the team with 33 tackles and one interception. During his career, Moses has tallied 179 tackles, two interceptions and 14 pass breakups.
The two-term president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Harris is a participant in the Big Heroes/Little Heroes program. The Stockton, Calif., native frequently reads to youth at elementary schools and serves as a mentor to young children. He has also participated in Fresno State's Vintage Days as well as the Walk for the Cure and Corner Stone Church's feeding program.
Vernon Fox (2001) is Fresno State's only other NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Quarterback, Western Michigan University
Business Administration - 4.00 GPA
The first NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Western Michigan, Tim Hiller has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout college while embarking on a record- setting football career for the Broncos.
Finishing his undergraduate degree in three years, Hiller has been a member of the Dean's List and Bronco Academic Honor Roll every semester at Western Michigan. He is a two-time Academic All- MAC honoree and a 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection. As a junior, he was the only player in the MAC to earn Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors three times during the season.
The 2005 MAC Freshman of the Year, Hiller started five games as a true freshman and finished the season with 1,334 yards passing and 20 touchdowns. His redshirt sophomore season, Hiller became the second Bronco in school history to pass for 3,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He attempted and completed the second most passes in school history with 421 and 267, respectively. In 2008, Hiller broke school three single-season records including attempts (522), completions (339) and yards (3,725) en route to being named Third Team All-MAC. Recently breaking the career record for touchdown passes at WMU (91), Hiller is on pace to hold virtually every Broncos' passing record.
Hailing from Orrville, Ohio, Hiller completes an average of 20 hours of community service per semester. He started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter on WMU's campus and spent 10 days with the FCA on a mission trip to Trinidad and Tobago last spring. He was recognized as a Danny Wuerffel Award finalist and serves as a high school tutor every week of the academic year.
Wide Receiver, Morningside College (Iowa)
Chemistry Biology - 4.00 GPA
A born leader and the epitome of a team player for the Morningside Mustangs, Beau Kildow leads by example. According to his teammates, "You have a hard time standing in the huddle next to him if you don't give your best."
During his time at Morningside, Kildow has twice been named a Daktronics-NAIA Football Scholar- Athlete. He is a two-time ESPN The Magazine All- District selection and has been on the Dean's List during his entire undergraduate career. In 2008, Kildow also received the Lt. Edward Farnsworth Scholarship.
As a junior, Kildow was selected as a College Fanz Sports Network First Team All-American. A two-time First-Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference selection, Kildow currently ranks seventh all-time in career receiving yards and receptions in Morningside history with 1,894 and 132, respectively. In 2007, Kildow was named to the Victory Sports Network Honorable Mention All-American team.
Kildow was elected as a student government senator in 2006. Following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina, Kildow traveled to Louisiana to help in the restoration efforts in New Orleans and surrounding areas. He participated in "Build a House for Blake," a volunteer project for a person who had been recently paralyzed, and is a Goodwill Thanksgiving volunteer.
Kildow is the first NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Morningside.
Linebacker, University of Northern Iowa
Economics English - 4.00 GPA
Northern Iowa's Josh Mahoney applies "a mental toughness that is inspiring" both on the field and off the field, carrying a perfect 4.0 GPA and leading his team in tackles. He becomes the first-ever NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Northern Iowa.
A Sioux Falls, S.D. native, Mahoney has been on the Dean's List his entire career at Northern Iowa. He is a three-time winner of the UNI undergraduate English Major Essay Contest and has twice been named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic Team. In 2008, he was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and selected to the FCS Academic All-Star Team.
In 2008, Mahoney was a First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and ranked third in the league in tackles per game (9.3), leading the Panthers to the FCS Semifinals. Mahoney led the team with 139 tackles and ranked third on the team with three interceptions. In 2007, he led the team with two forced fumbles and notched his first career interception. He is a three-year letterman with 186 career tackles, which include nine tackles for loss.
A three-year participant in the NCAA "Just Read" program, Josh is a four-year member of Student Athlete Advisory Committee and a seminar leader for the Iowa Character Counts program. He also serves as co-president of the UNI Pre-Law Club and is a three-year volunteer for Special Olympics. Mahoney also provided flood and tornado relief following the devastating storms in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Quarterback, University of Texas
Sports Management - 3.33 GPA
The reigning Walter Camp Foundation National Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy runner-up, Colt McCoy has balanced a full slate of academics and community service en route to becoming the winningest quarterback in the University of Texas' storied football history.
The Graham, Texas, native is a three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection, set to graduate this December with a bachelor's in Sports Management. McCoy is a four-time member of the Texas Athletics Directors Honor Roll and the Big 12 Commissioner's List and was tabbed as one of UT's student-athletes of the month as a sophomore.
Making an immediate impact at Texas, McCoy was the first freshman quarterback in UT history to win 10 games, earning Sporting News' National Freshman of the Year honors in 2006. Since then and en route to 43 current school records, he has become the first player in UT history to record at least 2,500 total yards in three seasons; the only quarterback in UT history to post three seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes; and the first UT quarterback to lead the Longhorns to three-straight 10-win or more seasons as a starter. With a 39-7 career record as a starter, McCoy recently tied Tennessee's Peyton Manning for second place on the NCAA all-time list for career victories.
McCoy has traveled to Peru during his last two spring breaks to perform mission work and is a regular speaker on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout Texas. Selected as a member of the 2008 Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team, he serves as a mentor to local elementary and middle school students and regularly visits patients at the Dell Children's Hospital in Austin.
McCoy becomes the 10th NFF National Scholar- Athlete from Texas, following Campbell Trophy winner Dallas Griffin in 2007.
Tight End, Tusculum College (Tenn.)
Pre-Medicine - 3.84 GPA
Described by Tusculum head coach Frankie DeBusk as "the leader of our football team that every player respects and appreciates" and the type of person he hopes his son will emulate, Jarrell NeSmith becomes the first player in Tusculum history to be honored as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Honored with the 2008-09 South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award, the most prestigious accolade offered by the league, NeSmith holds one of the highest GPAs among all Tusculum athletes as a Pre- Medicine major. A 2008 Academic All-America selection, he was named a national finalist for the Division II Conference Commissioners National Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He is also a two- time SAC Scholar-Athlete.
Equally impressive on the field, NeSmith garned Daktronics and Football Gazette First Team All- America honors in 2008 after leading the Pioneers to a conference championship and a spot in the Division II playoffs. A First Team All-SAC tight end, he has caught 144 receptions for 1,481 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career.
The Russellville, Ala., native is a four-year volunteer with the Lunch Buddies program at Doak Elementary School and the Boys Girls Club youth football clinic as well as Adopt-a-Highway and a local drug awareness program. He has also participated in Habitat for Humanity and public speaking events while serving as a volunteer assistant for the Lafayette High School Summer Football Camp.
Linebacker, Baylor University
Finance Economics - 3.71 GPA
The nation's active leader in career tackles (379), Baylor's Joe Pawelek has emerged as one of the nation's foremost defensive threats while becoming the first Bear since the legendary Don Trull in 1963 to be named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Pawelek is a three- time First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection, earning Second Team Academic All-American laurels in 2008. The eight-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll member boasts a double major in Finance and Economics and is on track to graduate this December. He is a three-time Baylor Academic Award winner, continually appearing on the school's Dean's List since his freshman year.
On pace to establish Baylor records for career games played, career games started and consecutive games started, Pawelek earned All-America and consensus First Team All-Big 12 laurels in 2008. He also leads the nation with 210 career assisted tackles and ranks eighth nationally with 8.8 tackles per game in his career. As a junior, he was the only player in the nation to register 100 or more tackles with at least five interceptions. Pawelek currently ranks second in tackles in the Big 12 (66) and registered a career-high 21 tackles against UConn, the second-best single- game total by an FBS player this season.
Pawelek has participated in BU's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Baylor's Leadership Academy for over two years, while also giving his time to the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and Food for Families. A 2009 Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team nominee, he has spoken to several local schools about drug awareness and leadership.
Quarterback, University of Kansas
Finance Economics - 3.64 GPA
The consummate leader on the field and in the classroom, Kansas' Todd Reesing will end his career in Lawrence as the most prolific quarterback in school history and the owner of nearly every school passing record.
A native of Austin, Texas, Reesing holds a double major in Finance and Economics, positioning himself as a regular on the KU Dean's List with a 3.64 grade point average. Named a First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2007 and '08, he was the recipient of the Nolan Cromwell Leadership Award last season.
Among active NCAA players, Reesing is third in career passing yards per game (271.7), fourth in total offensive yards per game (288.5) and fifth in four other categories, including touchdown passes and touchdowns responsible for (96). He is the only quarterback in KU history with multiple 400-yard passing games in a career, boasting two in a row just this season. A 2007 Big 12 Second Team pick, he led the Jayhawks to the first back-to-back bowl game seasons in school history and holds a 25-8 record as a starter. Reesing has completed 826 passes for 10,006 yards and 83 touchdowns in his career.
The two-year team captain participates in elementary school and hospital visits and represents the university at various "meet and greet" events. He has also served as a teaching assistant within the KU School of Business for two semesters.
Reesing is the fourth NFF National Scholar-Athlete in Kansas history.
Wide Receiver, Hardin-Simmons University (Texas)
Marketing - 3.90 GPA
Hardin-Simmons' all-time leader in kickoff return yards, ZaVious Robbins has carried his on-field excellence into the classroom and community, establishing himself as the university's first-ever NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Named an ESPN The Magazine All-District selection in 2008, Robbins will graduate with honors this December. The Mesquite, Texas, native is a three- time President's List and Dean's List honoree, and was named the school's most outstanding marketing student. He is also a two-time Academic All- Conference selection.
A two-year captain, Robbins garnered First Team All- ASC laurels as a receiver and Second Team All- Conference honors as a kick returner in 2008. He has recorded 49 kickoff returns for 1,211 yards and three touchdowns in his career, including a school-record 100-yard return, adding 75 career receptions for 1,119 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was also named the 2008 ASC Football Sportsmanship Player of the Year at HSU.
An officer for the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society, Robbins spends his time volunteering for Meals on Wheels and the Keep Abilene Beautiful program. He also serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a member of the American Marketing Association.
Quarterback, University of Florida
Family, Youth Community Sciences - 3.66 GPA
One of the most highly decorated college football players in history, Florida's Tim Tebow has managed to win a Heisman Trophy and two national championships while maintaining perhaps the busiest community service schedule of any college athlete in the country.
The reigning ESPN The Magazine Academic All- American of the Year and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Tebow was recently inducted into the university's Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to students by the Division of Student Affairs at the UF, for his combined scholastic achievement and campus involvement. The Jacksonville, Fla., native is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time First Team Academic All- American.
As the only sophomore to ever win the Heisman, Tebow has also won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Manning Award, back-to-back Maxwell awards in 2007 and '08, and the Sullivan Award, which is annually presented to the nation's top amateur athlete. As the undisputed leader of the No. 1 team in the land, he is the only player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season (2007) and entered his senior campaign with four NCAA, nine SEC and 23 school records. Tebow leads the Gators in both rushing and passing, accounting for more than 10,000 yards of total offense and 124 touchdowns in his career.
Tebow has spent nearly every summer of his life preaching the word of God around the country and participating in mission trips abroad. In 2009 alone, he has dedicated nearly 700 hours to community service efforts and appearances, including hospital and orphanage visits, and was named the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy recipient for his exemplary outreach.
Tebow joins former Campbell Trophy winners Brad Culpepper (1991) and Danny Wuerffel (1996) and three others as the sixth NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Florida.
Offensive Tackle, Augustana College (Ill.)
Biochemistry - 3.93 GPA
Arguably one of the finest student-athletes in school history, Augustana's Blaine Westemeyer is one of Division III's most competitive players on the gridiron while successful maintaining a near-perfect 3.93 GPA in the classroom.
A 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America selection, Westemeyer is a three-time Academic All- CCIW pick and a two-time winner of the conference's Jack Swartz Award for academic and athletic achievement. He was awarded the Augustana Summer Research Fellowship in 2008 and received a grant from the University of Utah earlier this year to perform cellular protein research. A member of both national biology and chemistry honor societies, Westemeyer hails from Overland Park, Kan.
A three-year starter on the Vikings' offensive line, Westemeyer has been instrumental in helping Augustana lead the CCIW in rushing each of the last three seasons. In 2008, he helped the Vikings average 29.1 points and 370.3 yards of total offense per game en route to being selected as an AFCA NCAA Division III All-American. This season, Augustana has nearly doubled its opponents rushing yards (1,246-628) and has outscored opponents 160- 95.
Serving as vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the team captain is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is an active participant in the Athletes-Giving-Back community outreach program. He serves as a hospice volunteer and as a proctor in chemistry and organic chemistry.
Westemeyer is the fourth Augustana player to be named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
Linebacker, West Virginia University
Finance Marketing - 3.86 GPA
A member of four-consecutive bowl-winning teams at West Virginia, Reed Williams has successfully tackled opposing offenses as well as his work in the classroom, becoming the sixth Mountaineer named as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
A native of Moorefield, W.Va., Williams was named a 2007 Academic All-American and is an eight-time member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll. A regular member of WVU's Dean's List, he is a three-year Big East Academic All-Star and a member of both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key National Honor Society. Working towards a second bachelor's degree in Marketing, Williams was also chosen a member of the Huntington Bank Junior Board of Directors.
After a standout performance against Oklahoma in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Williams was named the game's defensive MVP en route to being honored as a member of CollegeFootballNews.com's All-Bowl Team for the 2007 season. Twice named the "Ideal Mountaineer Man" by his teammates and the coaching staff, he was forced to medically redshirt in 2008. Regaining his starting position this fall, Williams has registered 217 career tackles, including 15 tackles for loss, and two interceptions and was a member of two Big East Conference championship teams.
Williams has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club throughout the state and has participated in reading programs and local hospital visits. A Special Olympics volunteer, Williams annually contributes to Christmas shopping for underprivileged children. He has also served as a guest speaker for many local events, including the Marion County Division of State Police child advocacy fundraiser.