Clemson WR named semifinalist for Campbell Trophy

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Swinney is up for the award Christian Wilkins brought home in 2018 (ACC pic)
Swinney is up for the award Christian Wilkins brought home in 2018 (ACC pic)

IRVING, Texas (Oct. 1, 2020) –The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced Thursday Clemson's Will Swinney among an all-time record of 199 semifinalists for the 2020 William V. Campbell Trophy.

Clemson's Christian Wilkins was a 2018 winner of the 'Academic Heisman.'

Celebrating its 31st year, 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. The NFF will announce 12-to-14 finalists in November, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2020 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. Later this year, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 31st Campbell Trophy, having his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000 and receiving his own 25-pound-bronze version of the iconic statue.

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.

Swinney entered 2020 having previously caught 21 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in 297 offensive snaps over 44 career games. He caught has one reception for three yards so far this season.

Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards celebrate their 62nd year in 2020. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments, and the NFF has recognized 866 outstanding individuals since the program’s inception. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.9 million. The trophy was first awarded in 1990, adding to the program’s prestige. Past recipients include two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and seven first-round NFL draft picks.

Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the trophy has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club since 2013, and the winner is honored each year during a special luncheon at the venue.

An All-Ivy League player and the captain of Columbia's 1961 Ivy League championship team, Bill Campbell found his true calling after an unlikely career change at age 39 from Columbia football coach to advertising executive. His ability to recruit, develop and manage talented executives – all lessons learned on the gridiron – proved to be a critical component of his ability to inspire his business teams to the highest levels of success.

As the CEO and chairman of Intuit, Campbell’s unique talent in building teams allowed him to become one of the most influential individuals in Silicon Valley, using the lessons of the gridiron to mentor Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai and Eric Schmidt of Google, Scott Cook and Brad Smith of Intuit, John Doerr of Kleiner-Perkins, Dick Costolo at Twitter, Diane Greene of VMWare and countless others. His contributions were recently captured in a new book titled "The Trillion Dollar Coach," and during his lifetime, he affectionally became known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley.”

Campbell joined the NFF Board in 1978 while he was still a coach at Columbia, and he continued to serve with distinction until his passing in 2016. In 2004, the NFF recognized Campbell's contributions and accomplishments by presenting him with the NFF Gold Medal, the organization's highest honor. In 2009, the NFF renamed college football's premier scholar-athlete award as The William V. Campbell Trophy® in his honor.


31st year of the William V. Campbell Trophy

62nd year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards

199 Nominations

3.67 Average GPA

9 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA

59 Nominees with a 3.8 GPA or better

72 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better

18 Academic All-America Selections

94 Captains

110 All-Conference Picks

18 All-Americans

85 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)

45 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)

20 Nominees from NCAA Division II

40 Nominees from NCAA Division III

9 Nominees from the NAIA

107 Offensive Players

72 Defensive Players

20 Special Teams Players

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