UNI, ISU, and Iowa Football represented on Campbell Trophy Watchlist
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Campbell Trophy is "presented to an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership," according to footballfoundation.org.
This year, three young men represent the state of Iowa as semifinalists for the award: Brawntae Wells of Northern Iowa, Zach VanValkenburg of Iowa, and Charlie Kolar of Iowa State.
Per the NFF, each student is nominated by their school, and "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."
Wells hails from Des Moines, where he attended Dowling Catholic. Since he's been a Panther, he's made time to volunteer at several organizations throughout the state, including Juvenile Court Services in Waterloo, the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center and tomorrow's leaders Youth After School Program. Academically, he's been named a Second Team MVFC Scholar-Athlete. On the field so far this season, the defensive lineman has posted seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. This is the second time Wells has been nominated for the award.
VanValkenburg hails from Zeeland, MI. Starting his collegiate career at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI, the defensive lineman posted a 3.42 GPA while earning his bachelor's degree in history. At Iowa, he's earning his master’s degree in Eastern European Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies. This season for the Hawkeyes, VanValkenburg has 17 total tackles along with five tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
Kolar is a tight end at Iowa State, where he's earned his degree in mechanical engineering. He's been named a two-time Academic All-American by CoSIDA, and maintains a 3.99 GPA. Kolar is largely considered the top tight end in Cyclone history, having posted 19 touchdowns and 1663 yards on 123 receptions over four seasons.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists for the award Oct. 27, with each finalist to receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. All finalists will be invited to the 63rd NFF annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas on Dec. 7. The Campbell Award winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship.