(Editor’s note: story by Griz communications)
MISSOULA – Montana defensive end Reggie Tilleman has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy the National Football Foundation announced Wednesday.
Tilleman, a senior, is one of only three players from the Big Sky Conference, and one of 40 players in all of FCS football to earn a place amongst the 179 semifinalists.
Known as the “Academic Heisman,” candidates for the Campbell Trophy 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.
Tilleman is a graduate of the University of Montana’s College of Business, earning a bachelor of science in business administration and finance in the spring of 2018 with a 3.87 GPA and magna cum laude honors, and is now pursuing his MBA.
The native of Genesee, Idaho, is also an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and regularly performs community service in and around the Missoula area.
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 will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 31, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.
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. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
The last Grizzly to be selected as a finalist for the Campbell Trophy was in 2015 when Derek Crittenden who earned the $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and traveled to New York for the Awards Dinner.
This year, another of Montana’s former scholar-athletes will be at the NFF’s Awards Dinner. Dave Dickenson was a scholar-athlete for UM in 1995 and returns to New York in 2018 as an inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Other Grizzlies to receive the scholar-athlete honor include Josh Branen (1997) and Vince Huntsberger (2001).
“These 179 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “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.”