South Dakota State University offensive lineman Casey Knips has been named a semifinalist for the 2009 Wiiliam V. Campbell Trophy, officials from the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
A senior offensive tackle from Adrian, Minn., Knips is in his second season as a regular starter for the nationally ranked Jackrabbits. He is one of 37 players from the Division I Football Championship Subdivision — and one of 154 players from all divisions of college football to be named a semifinalist.
Nominees must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of 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.
Formerly the Draddy Trophy, the award was renamed this fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit and a former player and head coach at Columbia University (N.Y.).
"The Campbell Trophy semifinalists represent everything great about college football, having achieved excellence in all aspect of their lives," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "It is the NFF's duty to promote their accomplishments while encouraging future generations of gridiron standouts to aim high on and off the football field."
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Last season, Jackrabbit quarterback Ryan Berry became the first SDSU player to be named a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.