The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the 154 semifinalists for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), endowed by HealthSouth, and the candidates for the 2009 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Awards. Gustavus senior defensive back T.J. Ridley (Edina, Minn.) has been selected as one of those 154 semifinalists. Ridley, a 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-American, is a biology, pre-medicine major with a 3.95 grade point average. He is one of only two football student athletes from the MIAC to be honored by the NFF. The other is Dominick Haik of Saint John’s.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists 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. 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.
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2009 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced live at the NFF’s Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.