Dec. 6, 2011
NEW YORK CITY - The National Football Foundation has announced that Army senior linebacker Andrew Rodriguez has won the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top football scholar-athlete. The award was presented at the 54th Annual NFF Awards Dinner on Tuesday night at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Rodriguez is the first Army player to win the honor, widely recognized as the top academic honor in college football. He is the first service academy player to win the award since Air Force's Chris Howard won the inaugural trophy in 1990.
Rodriguez, chosen as one of the Black Knights' three captains by his teammates, is back on the field this season after missing all of 2010 with a back injury. He has started 10 of the Black Knights' 11 games, and ranks third on the team with 55 tackles. Rodriguez has accounted for a team-leading three takeaways, intercepting a pass and recovering a team-high two fumbles.
The Alexandria, Va., native was the Black Knights' leading tackler in 2009. For his career, he has racked up 140 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 23 games.
In the classroom, Rodriguez boasts a 4.14 grade-point average. He was a 2009 and 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-District I selection and has been on the West Point dean's list five times. He is ranked third in West Point's Class of 2012.
"We are thrilled to honor Andrew as the nation's top scholar-athlete," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "The 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class was perhaps the best ever, and for Andrew to stand above them all really says a lot about his accomplishments. Given his considerable commitments to the U.S. military and his outstanding performance in the classroom while accomplishing everything he has as a football player makes him the clear choice as the best scholar-athlete in college football."
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, 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 a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000.
Rodriguez was chosen from 16 finalists, all of which earned National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete status. The group was nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each. Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The scholar-athlete 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 other members of this year's scholar-athlete class included Drew Butler (Georgia), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Micha Davis (Delta State), John Dowd (Navy), Yaser Elqutub (Northwestern State), Chris Ganious (South Dakota), Clay Garcia (Colorado School of Mines), Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois), Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State), Chaz Hine (South Florida), Joe Holland (Purdue), Jared Karstetter (Washington State), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), Patrick Witt (Yale) and Michael Zweifel (University of Dubuque). Each scholar-athlete earned an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Rodriguez is no stranger to National Football Foundation awards. He was named the organization's East Region High School Scholar Athlete of the Year following his senior year. Rodriguez is only the fifth person ever to earn the high school honor and repeat as a college scholar-athlete.
The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, has previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks. The past recipients of the 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's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' 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); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); and Texas' Sam Acho (2010).