Bill Petraiuolo is one of four PFL players selected.
University of Dayton redshirt center Bill Petraiuolo senior has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s William V. Campbell Trophy, it was announced today. In addition, the Highland Heights, Ohio native is now a candidate for the 2012 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Awards, presented Fidelity Investments.
The Campbell Trophy has been referred to as “the academic Heisman.” One of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
Petraiuolo, a 2008 Mayfield High school graduate, battled back from a back injury that cost him the 2010 season to start the last 15 games. He was named Second Team All-Pioneer Football League last season, and has been a part of two PFL championship teams in his career.
A Pre-Med major with a minor in Political Science, Petraiuolo is a four-time member of the PFL Academic Honor Roll. He carries a 3.45 cumulative GPA.
He is one of 147 semifinalists from all levels of college football, and one of 35 from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. Butler’s Jordan Ridley, Campbell’s Sam Eberwien and Drake’s Tyler Moorhead join Petraiuolo as one of only four student-athletes from the Pioneer Football League.
UD has had at least a semifinalist for seven straight years. Devon Langhorst was selected last year. Brandon Wingeier made the cut in 2010, Sean Heenan did in 2009 and Bart Bergfeld was also named in 2008. Brandon Cramer was a finalist in 2007, and Brandon Godsey was a semifinalist in 2006.
Dayton is the only PFL team to even have three in the last three seasons (Drake has two). Among Division I schools, the Flyers are one of 10 institutions with a semifinalist in the last seven years. The others are Austin Peay, Bucknell, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Dakota State, Texas, and Wisconsin.
"This year's candidates truly embody the National Football Foundation's mission of building leaders through football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are standouts in the classroom and on the field and have become leaders in their respective communities. Each school should take great pride in being represented by such well-rounded young men who will undoubtedly go on to do great things in life."
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 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 for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy.
Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored December 4 during the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports.
One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, 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 increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000.
A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.1 million.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments.
The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity announced a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor ever in the 54-year history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program.
The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004), Florida's Tim Tebow (2009), Texas' Sam Acho (2010) and Army’s Andrew Rodriguez (2011).
Dayton is back in action Saturday when the Flyers visit Butler at 1:00 p.m. ET in Indianapolis.