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Driskill NFF Foundation Scholar Athlete Winner

October 24, 2012

DALLAS, Texas -- Mount Union senior safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind./Southwood) has been selected as of of 15 players in all levels of college football as a 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award winner, presented by Fidelity Investments®.

The 15 honorees, from FBS, FCS, Division II, III and NAIA levels, also comprise the list of finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholarathletein the nation.

Along with Driskill, some of the other honorees include USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.

"This year's class contains some of the finest student-athletes to ever compete in college athletics in any sport," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "They have an average GPA of 3.67, which showcases their commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. Without exception, they embody what it takes to be great leaders. We are proud to hold them out as examples for future generations to emulate."

The honorees will travel to New York City to 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. They each receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and at the event one will be selected as the 23rd recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy with an additional $7,000 scholarship.

The NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes post-graduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities.  Past recepients include NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State), actor Mark Harmon (UCLA), former NBC news anchor Stone Phillips (Yale), NFL quaterbacks Steve Young (BYU), Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Tim Tebow (Florida).

Two former Purple Raiders have also won the award in former offensive lineman Eric Safran (2007) and quarterback Greg Micheli (2008).

"The 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class represents all that is right about college football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They have displayed the same competitive fire to win in the classroom that has distinguished them as some of the best football players in the country. In addition, each has found time to give back with an impressive list of leadership roles in their respective communities. Ensuring that they continue their education with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship is a privilege, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential."

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player 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.  

In addition to the presentation of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and the William V. Campbell Trophy, the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will include the induction of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the presentation of several major awards, including the organization's highest honor, the NFF Gold Medal, and the NFF Distinguished American Award.

The reigning D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year, Driskill has led Mount Union to three consecutive Division III National Championship appearances during his time on campus.

Driskill was tabbed a CAPITAL ONE Academic All-American Second Team selection as a junior, adding CAPITAL ONE Academic All-District laurels the same season. A two-time Academic All-Ohio Conference honoree, he has posted at least a 3.60GPA every semester of his college career as an exercise science major.

After a prolific junior campaign where he recorded 113 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 13 pass deflections, and four interceptions, Driskill was a consensus All-American named to the AFCA, D3football.com and AP Little All-America teams while being named the D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year. He was also the recipient of the 2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Lee Tressel Award as the conference's top defensive back. A two-time All-OAC selection, earning First Team honors in 2011 and Second Team accolades in 2010, Driskill has led Mount Union to perfect 10-0 regular seasons and Ohio Athletic Conference titles the last three seasons. A key contributor to Division III's top-ranked defense, he leads the No. 1-ranked Raiders in tackles (37) for the second year in a row and boasts 11 tackles for loss this season.

The team captain is a native of Wabash, Ind., and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Heserves as a volunteer at the church in his hometown and has also participated in the "Trick-or-Treat with theRaiders" on-campus initiative.

2012 NFF National Scholar Athlete Class

Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California - Communications 3.21 GPA
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska - History 3.43 GPA
Cody Davis, S, Texas Tech - Management Information Systems 3.70 GPA
Nick Driskill, S, Mount Union - Exercise Science 3.77 GPA
Nick Florence, QB, Baylor - Economics 3.79 GPA
Nabal Jefferson, DT, Northern Illinois - Accounting 3.78 GPA
Barrett Jones, C, Alabama - Accounting 4.00 GPA
Aaron Mullane, OL, West Texas A&M - Biology 3.57 GPA
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse - Finance & Managerial Accounting 3.57 GPA
Nolan Nearhoof, DE, Robert Morris (Pa.) - Biology 3.73 GPA
Ethan Peterson, OL, MIT - Nuclear Engineering & Physics 3.83 GPA
Sean Renfree, QB, Duke - Public Policy Studies 3.40 GPA
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame - Graphic Design 3.32 GPA
Patrick Ward, OT, Northwestern - Mechanical Engineering 3.94 GPA
Shane Zackery, WR, St. Xavier (Ill.) - Business Management 3.71 GPA

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