Senior football player Ichiro Vance was named a semifinalist for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy today as announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). The trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
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 170 semifinalists include football players from NCAA Division I FBS and FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA. Vance, a native of LaGrange, Ky., is one of four OVC players on the distinguished list.
Vance is now in his third year as a starting middle linebacker for the Colonels. He was a first team All-OVC selection as a sophomore and followed up with second team all-league honors in 2012. This year, Vance ranks fifth on the team with 18 tackles and posted a season-high five tackles this past weekend against Eastern Illinois. Vance earned his bachelor's degree this past May in criminal justice with a 3.35 GPA. He is now pursuing his master's degree in the same field.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 finalists, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 31. Each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and they will vie for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each of the 16 members 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.
For more information on the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), and to find the complete semifinalist list, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.
Eastern Kentucky (2-3, 0-1 OVC) hosts Austin Peay this Saturday, Oct. 5 as part of EKU Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend. Game time is set for 6 p.m.