HANOVER, N.H. — The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame yesterday announced the record 170 candidates for the 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, and Dartmouth linebacker Michael Runger (Lisle, Ill.) was among those chosen for the honor. The 170 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Schools are limited to one nominee, who 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.
Runger, an economics major with a 3.77 GPA, was named to the All-Ivy First Team and the FCS All-New England Team in 2012 after leading the league in tackles with 98, including a career-best 17 in the season-ending 35-21 win at Princeton. He was even better against teams in the Ancient Eight, averaging 10.1 tackles per game, and overall he recorded at least 10 stops in six of the 10 contests. The product of Benet Academy earned numerous academic awards last year as well, including spots on the Capital One All-District I First Team, the FCS Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Stars and the Fall Academic All-Ivy squad. Prior to this campaign, Runger was named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Ivy First Team.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, Oct. 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th 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 William V. 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 $10.4 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.
Information on the award provided by the NFF.