(Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
The National Football Foundation (NFF) named Montana State senior linebacker Troy Andersen one of 13 members of the 2021 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments on Wednesday. As an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, Andersen receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
The Campbell Trophy, known as the “Academic Heisman,” is selected from the 13 finalists, pared down from a list of 176 semi-finalists. The NFF announces the 2021 Campbell Trophy winner at the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 7 at the ARIA Resort and Casino.
“This is a tremendous and most deserved honor for Troy,” said MSU Director of Athletics Leon Costello. “Troy is an outstanding student, gifted athlete, and consummate leader on and off the field. He is the model representative for Bobcat Football, the athletic department, and Montana State University.”
A two-time team captain from Dillon, Montana, Andersen earned Third Team All-America and First Team All-Big Sky honors at quarterback in 2018, and in 2019 earned First Team All-America honors First Team All-Big Sky honors at linebacker. Playing running back in 2017, Andersen earned Big Sky Freshman of the Year honors. He has played linebacker throughout 2021.
“Troy is an excellent football player but more importantly is a tremendous person. As a two-time captain, his teammates hold him in the highest regard, additionally he has excelled in the classroom and has demonstrated a clear understanding of how important it is to give back to our community.”
Andersen paces a Bobcat defense allowing the fewest yards and fewest points in the Big Sky this season, leading the team with 71 total tackles and standing second on the team with 8.0 tackles-for-loss. He is second in the league with 5.0 solo tackles per game and 11th in tackles-for-loss per game (1.0). Andersen returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown against San Diego, and with starters missing in the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary last week against Idaho State he logged a career high 16 tackles, one for a loss, with two pass breakups. His two-plus years playing on offense leaves Andersen second in school history with 33 rushing touchdowns and ninth with 2,263 rushing yards.
During his time at MSU Andersen volunteered in Bozeman public schools and coached youth football camps. He has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity on projects in Poland and Montana, and for Team IMPACT, working with a youth in Big Timber that has battled cancer.
Andersen is the fifth Bobcat to earn NFF National Scholar-Athlete honors, and the only FCS player among the 13 honored by the NFF in 2021. He earned his bachelor’s degree from MSU in May, 2021 with a 3.91 cumulative grade point average in agricultural business. This year’s group of NFF Campbell Trophy Finalists combine for a 3.77 average grade point average and features 13 team captains, eight players with undergraduate degrees
2021 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes, Campbell Trophy Finalists: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State (3.91 grade point average); Thomas Booker, DE, Stanford (3.88); Mike Caliendo, OL, Western Michigan (3.90); Sean Clifford, QB, Penn State (3.45); Cameron Dukes, QB, Lindsey Wilson (3.89); Patrick Fields, DB, Oklahoma (3.82); Matt Henningsen, DE, Wiconsin (4.00); Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan (3.54); Joshua King, LB, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (3.73); Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State (3.99); Henry Litwin, WR, Slippery Rock (3.66); Sean Mahone, S, West Virginia (3.60);Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas (3.66).
Montana State University NFF Scholar-Athletes: Troy Andersen (2021), Rich Brady (1990), Derrick Isackson (1989), Ryan Johnson (2002), Anders Larsson (1988).