COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S “ACADEMIC HEISMAN”
The William V. Campbell, formerly the Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, is a trophy awarded by the National Football Foundation that is given to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. It is considered by many to be the “Academic Heisman.”
The centerpiece to the NFF’s scholar-athlete program, The William V. Campbell Trophy was first awarded in 1990. It is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal.
THIS YEAR’S WINNER…
CHRISTIAN WILKINS, DEFENSIVE END, CLEMSON TIGERS
Wilkins personifies the scholar-athlete ideal, having already earned his degree while twice claiming First Team All-America honors and guiding Clemson to a national championship.
After graduating in December 2017 with a 3.33 GPA in communication studies, Wilkins became the first scholarship player in Clemson football history to finish school in two and a half years. He will graduate this December with a master’s in athletic leadership. In addition to being a three-time All-ACC Academic Team member, Wilkins has twice received First Team Academic All-District honors. He was named the ACC’s 2018 Jim Tatum Award recipient as the top senior student-athlete among the conference’s football players.
A two-year team captain, Wilkins has guided Clemson to the No. 2 ranking, a perfect 13-0 record, the 2018 ACC title and a trip to the College Football Playoff Semifinal. A finalist for the 2018 Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy, he has amassed 45 tackles on the season, including 13.5 tackles for loss. The 2018 First Team All-ACC defensive lineman is also a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and has five sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recovery to his name this year. Wilkins was the runner-up for both the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for 2018.
Wilkins leads a Clemson unit that tops the ACC and is tied for second in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 13.7 points per game. Clemson’s rushing defense is also atop the ACC, limiting opposing teams to 93 yards per game on the ground, which is the third best average in the nation. The Tigers rank second in the ACC and fourth in the nation in total defense, limiting offenses to 276.8 yards per game.
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The 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy finalists included:
- Army West Point – LB Kenneth Brison, 3.96 GPA
- So Dakota State – QB Taryn Christion, 3.61 GPA
- Grambling State – LB De’Arius Christmas, 3.82 GPA
- Wisconsin – D’Cota Dixon, 3.32 GPA
- No Carolina – Ryan Finley, 3.76 GPA
- St Francis (IN) – Piercen Harnish, 3.96 GPA
- Penn State – Trace McSorely, 3.31 GPA
- Kansas State – Dalton Risner, 3.60 GPA
- Northern Illinois – Max Scharping, 3.99 GPA
- Wheaton (Il) – Eric Stevenson, 3.83 GPA
- No Dakota State – Easton Stick, 3.92 GPA
- Notre Dame – Drue Tranquill, 3.73 GPA
- Clemson – Christian Wilkins, 3.33 GPA