Bentley Named Semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy®
Award Recognizes the Best Football Scholar-Athlete in the Nation
University of South Carolina senior quarterback Jake Bentley is one of 185 semifinalists named for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, it was announced today. Celebrating its 30th year in 2019, the award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
On the field, Bentley posted a 19-14 record as a four-year starting quarterback before he suffered a season-ending injury in the 2019 season opener against North Carolina. He ranks near the top in nearly all the quarterback career records at South Carolina. Off the field, he is a two-time team captain, won the Leadership Award for the Offense in both 2017 and 2018, was the 2019 Harold White GPA Award winner for the offense, has been on numerous academic honor rolls, and was the 2017-18 SEC Sportsmanship Award winner.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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 playing 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.
“These 185 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “For more than 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. And we are excited to celebrate the 30th year of the William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which honors the best of the best. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.7 million.
“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates.”