Sept. 29, 2011
2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Nominees -- Complete List
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Dan Persa is among the best and brightest from college football nominated for the National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Award, the organization announced Thursday. The 127 nominees for the award also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which annually recognizes one individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the country.
With each school limited to one nominee, 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 Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients of the National Scholar-Athlete Award with the results announced on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and be considered as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy.
Persa earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Northwestern in June of 2011. Last spring, he was one of just seven NU football players to be named a 2010-11 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, which recognizes student-athletes with a GPA of at least 3.7 for the previous academic year. He has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors on three occasions and is a Capital One Academic All-America candidate in 2011.
In addition to being a two-year captain for Northwestern, Persa became the first player to be elected (by his teammates) to NU's 10-player Leadership Council in four straight years. The 2010 first-team All-Big Ten quarterback compiled over 3,000 yards of total offense a year ago (2,581 passing, 519 rushing) and was responsible for 26 touchdowns through the air and on the ground.
Persa is set to make his 2011 season debut at Illinois Saturday after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered on Nov. 13, 2010.
2011 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
3.60 Average GPA
27 Nominees with a 3.9 GPA or better
6 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
86 Team Captains
56 All-Conference Picks
17 Academic All-America Selections
10 All-America Selections
27 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
1 Player Formerly Named an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
33 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
11 Nominees from the Division II
30 Nominees from the Division III
6 Nominees from the NAIA
61 Offensive Players
50 Defensive Players
16 Special Teams Players
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