Oct. 2, 2013
HOUSTON – Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced 170 candidates, including Houston offensive lineman Kevin Forsch, for the 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments.
Forsch and the other nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The 170 semifinalists represent the most ever since 2006 when the NFF increased the nomination standards to require a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA.
“We take great pride in the record participation by the number of schools in the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program this year,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (William V. Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase that success on the football field starts with winners in the classroom and the community. This year’s record-breaking number of nominations further illustrates the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
Houston’s starting right guard, Forsch owns 23 career starts and has seen action in 40 career games. A three-time selection to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll for his academic achievements, Forsch earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors for his on-field play in 2011.
This season Forsch has helped lead a team that currently ranks 10th nationally in total offense with 534 yards per game and is one of just eight teams nationally to average over 225 yards per game rushing and over 250 yards per game passing. He has helped pave the way for two 100-yard rushing games and bolsters an offensive line that is 21st nationally in allowing just four sacks this season.
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 as well as their schools on this tremendous honor,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, which show that football players can balance between academics and athletics at the highest level. There is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists 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 Thursday, October 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member 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.
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 $10.4 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 William V. 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.
Houston fans can purchase three-game mini-plan packages beginning at $95. Fans can purchase a mini plan for a ticket to three of the five following home games – Oct. 12 vs. Memphis, Oct. 19 vs. BYU, Oct. 31 vs. USF, Nov. 23 vs. Cincinnati and Nov. 29 vs. SMU. Packages start at just $95 for a selection from games involving Memphis, USF, Cincinnati and SMU. For packages involving Houston’s game vs. BYU, the price is set at $105.
To purchase tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Fans can also purchase season tickets online by clicking here.