IRVING, Texas - Gallaudet University senior offensive lineman Brad Peterson (Avalon, Pa.) was selected as one the best and brightest from the college gridiron as announced by The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame. Peterson is one of 179 semifinalists honored from the Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. Peterson joins the company of other great players from top college programs such as Penn State University quarterback Trace McSorley and Clemson University defensive lineman Christian Wilkins.
Peterson is a four-year letterwinner in football at Gallaudet, the world's only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. The Business Administration major is on track to graduate this May 2019. The lineman entered the 2018 season with 29 starts under his belt in 29 games played. He is three-time Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) All-Academic team honoree. In 2016, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team for District 2. Peterson has been named to the Dean's list every semester he has been at GU.
"Brad understands the concept of team and recognizes the importance of strong work ethic and persistence," said Gallaudet head football coach Chuck Goldstein. "He has long since become a valuable member of the football program, and is a role model for his teammates and classmates at Gallaudet University."
Peterson, who is hard of hearing, is one of 41 nominees selected from Division III, and he is the only honoree from the ECFC. Gallaudet is the only football program from the District of Columbia represented among the 179 candidates.
Gallaudet has had eight NFF National Scholar-Athlete semifinalists over the years including seven in the past eight years. The first came in 1992 when Jeffrey Kurz was bestowed the great honor while the second came eight years ago when Caleb Hinton (2011) was recognized for his academic and athletic prowess followed by Denton Mallas (2012), Nicholas Elstad (2013), Nico Santiago (2014), Sean Fenton (2016) and Devaron Scott (2017).
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 31, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
"These 179 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 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. This year's semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders."
Nominated by their schools' Sports Information Office, 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 exceptional football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Only one nomination per school. 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 and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve 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 past recipients of the William V. 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 (Fla.)'s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)'s 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); California's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point's Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama's Barrett Jones (2012); Penn State's John Urschel (2013); Duke's David Helton (2014); Oklahoma's Ty Darlington (2015); Western Michigan's Zach Terrell (2016); Virginia's Micah Kiser (2017).
About NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and it has recognized 828 outstanding individuals since its inception. The Campbell Trophy®, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's prestige, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
About the NFF & College Football Hall of Fame Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.
2018 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
- 179 Nominations
- 60th Year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program
- 3.62 Average GPA
- 70 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better
- 114 Captains
- 95 All-Conference Picks
- 29 Academic All-America Selections
- 16 All-Americans
- 63 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
- 40 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
- 25 Nominees from NCAA Division II
- 41 Nominees from NCAA Division III
- 10 Nominees from the NAIA
- 81 Offensive Players
- 81 Defensive Players
- 17 Special Teams Players
Gallaudet's NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Semifinalists