Matt Holmes named national semifinalist for NFF's Campbell Trophy

Matt Holmes named national semifinalist for NFF's Campbell Trophy
Thursday, September 30, 2010 | by Senior center one of 121 players from all divisions eligible for prestigious post-graduate scholarsh

DALLAS, Texas - Newberry College center Matt Holmes has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy presented by the National Football Foundation, the NFF announced today.

In addition to his semifinalist candidacy for the Campbell Trophy (which was previously known as the Draddy Trophy), endowed by HealthSouth, Holmes is also eligible for a 2010 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award. A total of 121 semifinalists were announced, with only 12 coming from the Division II ranks.

Holmes, a senior from Johnston, S.C., is one of Newberry's two offensive captains and has started 23 consecutive games at center, dating back to the 2008 season. In 2009, Holmes was a DAKTRONICS First Team All-Super Region Two selection and was named an all-South Carolina player by The State newspaper and the Orangeburg Touchdown Club. He was a first team all-South Atlantic Conference player in 2009 and was the recipient of the Bucko Edens Scholarship Award, which goes to Newberry's top lineman each season.

Holmes was also an original member of Newberry's Order of the Gray Stripe. He is the only player from the South Atlantic Conference and from Super Region Two to be named a Campbell Trophy semifinalist this season. The University of South Carolina's Garrett Chisolm is the only other semifinalist from the state of South Carolina.

Holmes has been a member of the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll each of the last three seasons, has been named to the Newberry College Dean's List in four semesters and has been a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society since the 2008 fall semester. Holmes is a member of the Physical Education Majors Club, has been a mentor for students at Newberry Middle School and Strom Thurmond High School and has participated in multiple service projects on campus, at the Boys Farm in Newberry and at the Shriners Hospital in Greenville.

"Matt Holmes is an extremely high character young man who just happens to be one of the best football players in our region," said Newberry head football coach Todd Knight. "He does an excellent job in the classroom as well as on the field. He has his priorities straight and knows that the most important thing he can do at Newberry College is earn his degree. He is already a success in life, and I look forward to the things he has in store for him after he helps lead us to a few more wins this season."

This marks the second consecutive year Newberry College has had a Campbell Trophy semifinalist, as quarterback Brandon Gantt was named to the list in 2009.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists 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 trophy was renamed last fall 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 NFF would like to personally congratulate each Campbell Trophy semifinalist 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 finalists from among this esteemed group.”

The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 15 finalists and announce the results via national press release on Thursday, Oct. 28. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 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 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the prestigious Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, bringing the NFF's all-time scholarship distribution to $9.5 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 William V. 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. The University of Florida's Tim Tebow was named the 2009 Campbell Trophy recipient and last year's finalists combined for a 3.77 average GPA. The class boasted 14 academic all-conference student-athletes, including seven academic All-America picks; 14 all-conference players, including six All-America picks; 16 team captains; one Heisman Trophy winner; and eight members of conference championship teams.

The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); and Florida's Tim Tebow (2009).

2010 William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist Notes:
• 3.58 Average GPA
• 46 Semifinalists with a 3.7 GPA or better
• 69 All-Conference Picks
• 76 Team Captains
• 16 Academic All-America Selections
• 20 All-America Selections
• 26 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
• 2 Players formerly named NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes
• 47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
• 28 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
• 12 Nominees from the Division II
• 27 Nominees from the Division III
• 7 Nominees from the NAIA
• 56 Offensive Players
• 48 Defensive Players
• 17 Special Teams Players

Click here for the complete breakdown of 2010 Campbell Trophy Semifinalists

2010 Campbell Trophy Semifinalists
from Division II

Ashland (Ohio) University - Joe Horn
Bentley (Mass.) University - Jared Kawadler
Clarion (Pa.) University- Nick Sipes
Concordia (Minn.) University - Hayden Vavra
East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University - Matt Freed
Eastern New Mexico University - Nathan Uland
Hillsdale (Mich.) College- Phil Doerfler
University of Minnesota-Duluth - Isaac Odim
Newberry (S.C.) College - Matt Holmes
Slippery Rock (Pa.) University - C.J. Bahr
St. Cloud State (Minn.) University - Joe Winandy
Wayne State (Mich.) University - Matthew Faulkner