Payne a National Postgrad Scholarship Semifinalist

BYU senior kicker Mitch Payne (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

DALLAS -- BYU senior kicker Mitch Payne has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), endowed by HealthSouth, and as a candidate for the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Payne, a three-year Mountain West Conference Scholar-Athlete and three-year MWC All-Academic honoree, is currently working on a Master of Public Administration degree after earning an undergraduate degree in Business Management.

The senior broke the MWC record for made point-after attempts (161) in a career last season and is currently two PAT conversions from breaking the BYU record for most in a career. Payne is 13 point-after attempts from breaking the school career record in that category, also. In addition, Payne is in the top five on the MWC career kicking points and BYU career points lists.

Off the field, Payne has served in a number of capacities, including the Big Brother program, Thursday's Heroes, Boy Scouts and as a mentor to elementary school students and a speaker at local high schools. He also served in the Brazil Fortaleza Mission (2004-06) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Payne is one of six semifinalists from MWC schools in addition to Air Force wide receiver Kevin Fogler, Colorado State tight end Eric Peitz, TCU wide receiver Curtis Clay, Utah offensive lineman Zane Taylor and Wyoming free safety Chris Prosinski.

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. The trophy was renamed last 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 NFF Awards Committee will select up to 15 finalists and announce the results via national press release on Thursday, Oct. 28. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 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 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, bringing the NFF's all-time scholarship distribution to $9.5 million.

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); and Florida's Tim Tebow (2009).