Kariya Named NFF Scholar-Athlete Award Candidate

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

DALLAS - 127 student-athletes, including Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and BYU's Bryan Kariya vie for college football's premier scholar-athlete award.

Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the 127 candidates for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education . The 127 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.

Kariya, a senior, has a 3.9 GPA and is a Chinese major with a minor in business management. He is second on the Cougars in rushing and in last week's 24-17 victory over UCF  led the team with 14 carries, 52 yards and one touchdown to go along with a pair of receptions for 11 yards. He is one of 47 FBS athletes selected as a candidate.

For more on Kariya and this award CLICK HERE.

"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 Wednesday, October 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored December 6 during the 54th 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 $9.8 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.

For more information on the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards CLICK HERE

2011 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
3.60 Average GPA
27 Nominees with a 3.9 GPA or better
6 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
86 Team Captains
56 All-Conference Picks
17 Academic All-America Selections
10 All-America Selections
27 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
1 Player Formerly Named an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
33 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
11 Nominees from the Division II
30 Nominees from the Division III
6 Nominees from the NAIA
61 Offensive Players
50 Defensive Players
16 Special Teams Players

NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS CANDIDATES (FBS)
Air Force - A.J. Wallerstein
Arizona State - Aaron Pflugrad
Army - Andrew Rodriguez
Auburn - Barrett Trotter
Ball State - Briggs Orsbon
Boise State - Nate Potter
Bowling Green State - Ben Bojicic
Brigham Young - Bryan Kariya
Buffalo - Peter Fardon
California - Giorgio Tavecchio
Clemson - Dawson Zimmerman
Colorado - Travis Sandersfeld
Connecticut - Harris Agbor
Georgia - Drew Butler
Indiana - Leon Beckum
Iowa - Tyler Nielsen
Kansas State - Tysyn Hartman
Kentucky - Stuart Hines
Miami (Fla.) - Spencer Whipple
Miami (Ohio) - Anthony Kokal
Michigan State - Kirk Cousins
Missouri - Grant Ressel
Navy - John Dowd
Nebraska - Austin Cassidy
North Carolina State - Mikel Overgaard
Northern Illinois - Chandler Harnish
Northwestern - Dan Persa
Notre Dame - David Ruffer
Oklahoma State - Brandon Weeden
Pittsburgh - Myles Caragein
Purdue - Joe Holland
Rutgers - Scott Vallone
San Diego State - Miles Burris
South Florida - Chaz Hine
Southern Mississippi - Austin Davis
Syracuse - Kevyn Scott
Texas - Emmanuel Acho
Texas A&M - Ryan Tannehill
Toledo - Mike VanDerMeulen
Troy - Jamie Hampton
Virginia - Robert Randolph
Virginia Tech - Danny Coale
Wake Forest - Michael Hoag
Washington State - Jared Karstetter
Western Michigan - John Potter
Wisconsin - Bradie Ewing
Wyoming - Clayton Kirven