Louisiana Tech Kicker Matt Nelson Named Semifinalist for William V. Campbell Trophy

Sept. 27, 2012

DALLAS - Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the 147 candidates – including Louisiana Tech kicker Matt Nelson – for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. The 147 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Nelson was nominated for the award after graduating in August after only three years with a 3.395 grade point average and receiving his degree in finance. He is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration. He has been named Academic All-Western Athletic Conference all three years, is a three-time Dean’s Honor List recipient wand was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first team in 2010.

A 2011 All-WAC second team honoree and 2009 All-Louisiana second team honoree, Nelson recently set the Louisiana Tech career record for PATs converted and PATs attempted. He also holds the record for the most PATs kicked in a single season.

Away from the football field and the classroom, he has served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has volunteered over 200 hours in various community service efforts in the last two years.

"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."

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).





·  3.57 Average GPA

·  29 nominees with a 3.80 GPA or better

·  91 Team Captains

·  74 All-Conference Picks

·  21 Academic All-America Selections

·  14 All-America Selections

·  50 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision

·  35 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision

·  12 Nominees from the Division II

·  41 Nominees from the Division III

·  9 Nominees from the NAIA

·  68 Offensive Players

·  53 Defensive Players

·  26 Special Teams Players


Football Bowl Subdivision
Alabama -- Barrett Jones
Arkansas -- Dylan Breeding
Army -- Zach Watts
Auburn -- Ashton Richardson
Ball State -- Scott Kovanda
Baylor -- Nick Florence
Brigham Young -- Riley Nelson
California -- Matt Summers-Gavin
Central Florida -- Lyle Dankenbring
Clemson -- Dalton Freeman
Colorado -- Dustin Ebner
Duke -- Sean Renfree
Eastern Michigan -- Alex Gillett
Florida -- Caleb Sturgis
Florida State -- Dustin Hopkins
Georgia -- Ty Frix
Indiana -- Adam Replogle
Iowa -- James Vandenberg
Iowa State -- Carter Bykowski
Kentucky -- Matt Smith
Louisiana Tech -- Matt Nelson
Mississippi -- Tyler Campbell
Missouri -- T.J. Moe
Navy -- Keegan Wetzel
Nebraska -- Rex Burkhead
North Carolina -- Pete Mangum
North Carolina State -- McKay Frandsen
Northern Illinois -- Nabal Jefferson
Northwestern -- Patrick Ward
Notre Dame -- Manti Te'o
Ohio -- Matt Weller
Ohio State -- Ben Buchanan
Penn State -- Pete Massaro
Purdue -- Robert Maci
Rutgers -- Duron Harmon
San Jose State -- Travis Johnson
South Carolina -- Seth Strickland
South Florida -- Evan Landi
Southern California -- Matt Barkley
Syracuse -- Ryan Nassib
Texas -- Marquise Goodwin
Texas Tech -- Cody Davis
Toledo -- Dan Molls
UCLA -- Jeff Locke
Utah -- Sean Sellwood
Virginia Tech -- Joey Phillips
West Virginia -- Jeff Braun
Western Michigan -- Chris Prom
Wisconsin -- Shelton Johnson
Wyoming -- Luke Ruff

Football Championship Subdivision
Austin Peay State -- Wesley Kitts
Brown -- Ross Walthall
Bryant -- Colin Sullivan
Bucknell -- Sam Oyekoya
Butler -- Jordan Ridley
Campbell -- Sam Eberwein
Colgate -- Chris Looney
Dartmouth -- Patrick Lahey
Dayton -- Bill Petraiuolo
Delaware -- Ethan Clark
Drake -- Tyler Moorehead
Eastern Kentucky -- Patrick Ford
Fordham -- Patrick Murray
Georgia State -- Akeen Felder
Holy Cross -- Tom Mannix
Maine -- Brian Harvey
Missouri State -- Matt Thayer
Montana -- Samuel Gratton
New Hampshire -- Chris Zarkoskie
Nicholls State -- Kerry Guidry
North Dakota -- Ross Brenneman
North Dakota State -- Garrett Bruhn
Northern Arizona -- Jake Hess
Northern Colorado -- Mason Puckett
Northern Iowa -- Kyle Bernard
Northwestern State -- John Shaughnessy
Old Dominion -- Jonathan Plisco
Princeton -- Joe Cloud
Rhode Island -- Kyle Elliott
Robert Morris -- Nolan Nearhoof
Sam Houston State -- Eric Fieilo
South Dakota State -- Tyrel Kool
Southern Illinois -- Joe Okon
UC-Davis -- Sean Davies
UT-Chattanooga -- Adam Miller

Division II
Adams State (Colo.) -- Jason Nottingham
Ashland (Ohio) -- Donnie Dottei
C.W. Post-LIU (N.Y.) -- Grayson Laurino
Eastern New Mexico -- Wes Wood
Harding (Ark.) -- Josh Aldridge
Missouri Univ. of Science & Tech. -- Josh Firm
Missouri Southern State -- Kellen Cox
St. Cloud State (Minn.) -- Andrew Beckmann
Wayne State (Mich.) -- Nick Thomas
West Texas A&M -- Aarone Mulane
Wingate (N.C.) -- Andrew Nallenweg

Division III
Albion (Mich.) -- Spencer Krauss
Albright (Pa.) -- J.T. Harding
Bethany (W.Va.) -- Johnathan Foster
Bethel (Minn.) -- Gavin Maurer
Bluffton (Ohio) -- Ryan Sabin
Case Western Reserve (Ohio) -- Dan Calabrese
Central (Iowa) -- Ross Doehrmann
Denison (Ohio) -- Nathaniel Kell
DePauw (Ind.) -- Christopher Lamping
Dubuque (Iowa) -- Wyatt Hanus
Emory & Henry (Va.) -- Ross Ellis
Franklin and Marshall (Pa.) -- Kenny Provost
Frostburg State (Md.) -- Anthony Young
Gallaudet (D.C.) -- Denton Mallas
Gettysburg (Pa.) -- Larry DelViscio
Grinnell (Iowa) -- TJ Schaid
Hampden-Sydney (Va.) -- Alex Price
Hardin-Simmons (Texas) -- Travis Sugar
Kean (N.J.) -- T.J. Denehy
King's (Pa.) -- Ryan Cordingly
Lake Forest (Ill.) -- Aidan Price
Lycoming (Pa.) -- Parker Showers
Macalester (Minn.) -- Riley Koval
Manchester (Ind.) -- Matt Frieden
Massachusetts Institute of Tech. -- Ethan Peterson
Mount Union (Ohio) -- Nick Driskill
North Central (Ill.) -- Alex Pirela
Oberlin (Ohio) -- David Kalgren
Rowan (N.J.) -- Chris Popper
Saint John's (Minn.) -- Stephen Johnson
Shenandoah (Va.) -- Nick Erdman
Simpson (Iowa) -- Mark Cronin
Union (N.Y.) -- Noah Joseph
Wartburg (Iowa) -- Garrett McGrane
Washington Univ. in St. Louis (Mo.) -- Dan Burkett
Westfield State (Mass.) -- Chris Walker
Wheaton (Ill.) -- Sam VanHeest
Williams (Mass.) -- Ladd Hamrick
Wisconsin-Eau Claire -- Matt Hawley
Wisconsin-Oshkosh -- Ben Strehlow
Wisconsin-Stout -- Joshua Peterson

Bethel (Tenn.) -- Jouan Cox
Cumberland (Tenn.) -- Cody McCallister
Dakota State (S.D.) -- John Niesen
Faulkner (Ala.) -- Mitchell Thornton
McPherson (Kan.) -- Jacob Snodgrass
Peru State (Neb.) -- Joel Woodhead
Saint Xavier (Ill.) -- Shane Zackery
Univ. of the Cumberlands (Ky.) -- Jay Bright
William Penn (Iowa) -- Mason Woods


For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATech FB and @LATechPWalsh on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.


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