(Editor's note: Big Sky Conference media release)
IRVING, Texas -- Four Big Sky Football players are among the 185 semifinalists for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, announced Wednesday by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). Celebrating its 30th year in 2019, 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.
Eastern Washington center Spencer Blackburn, Montana linebacker Dante Olson, Montana State punter Jered Padmos, and Sacramento State offensive lineman Nick Bianco were all named as semifinalists.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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.
"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, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."