IRVING, Texas -- Mount Union senior linebacker Hank Spencer (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) has been named a finalist for the 2015 Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame.
The 12 finalists selected from a group of 135 semifinalts across all divisions of college football will each recieve an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and be recognized at the 58th National Football Foundation Awards Dinner December 8, 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Campbell Trophy will be awarded at the dinner with the winner having his scholarship increased to $25,000.
The recipient of the Campbell Trophy will also be honored at the NFF Board of Directors meeting and at a reception hosted by the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday, Dec. 9. He will then fly to Atlanta to be recognized during the The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN at the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 10. As part of the NFF's partnership with the College Football Playoff (CFP), the Campbell Trophy winner will be recognized on the field during the CFP National Championship on Jan. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell (the chairman of Intuit, a 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. A total distribution of $223,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.9 million.
Spencer is a Computer Science major with a 3.99 grade point average. He graduated from high school early four years ago, enrolled at Mount Union in the spring of 2012.
On the field, Spencer is third on the team in tackles this season for a No. 1 ranked team that is NCAA Division III's top rated overall defense.
A season ago, he was an All-Amercian, an Academic All-American, an All-OAC First Team and All-North Region Second Team pick.
In 2013, Spencer played in 13 games and had 56 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss as he earned All-OAC honorable mention and Capital One Academic All-District selection.
As a freshman in 2012, he started the final seven games for the national champion Purple Raiders and was an All-OAC honorable mention pick.
He is the 2015 NCAA Division III Academic All-American of the Year and a two-time winner of the NCAA Elite 89 award, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average at a national championship event.
A two-time team captain, he has aided in a variety of leadership and community service that include Trick or Treat with the Raiders, Habitat for Humanity and Rodman Public Library.
Mount Union has sent three other finalists to New York City over the years -- Nick Driskill in 2012, Greg Micheli in 2008 and Eric Safran in 2007.
"The NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year's National Scholar-Athletes," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (the 1997 Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "Selected from an impressive group of semifinalists, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is also a leader in his respective community, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential."
The NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, became the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Including the 2015 recipients, the NFF has honored 816 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards. The honorees have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs and 43 PhDs. Continuing their excellence on the field, 175 recipients have played in the NFL with an average career of six seasons or double the length of a typical NFL player. Past recipients also include 13 Rhodes Scholars.
The 12 finalists find themselves among some of the most elite student-athletes in the history of the game, including former NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); Robert Morris University President Chris Howard (Air Force); NCAA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Oliver Luck (West Virginia); NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins (Illinois) and Leland Melvin (Richmond); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and 32 College Football Hall of Famer, including 2015 electees Trev Alberts (Nebraska), Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame) and Dick Jauron (Yale).
- Hank Spencer, LB - Mount Union - 3.99 Computer Science
- E.K. Binns, OG - Navy - 3.43 Economics
- Jacoby Boren, C - Ohio State - 3.83 Sustainable Plant Systems
- Jake Brendel, C - UCLA - 3.43 Economics
- Taveze Calhoun, DB - Mississippi State - 3.51 Interdisciplinary Studies
- Derek Crittenden, DE - Montana - 4.00 Chemistry
- Ty Darlington, C - Oklahoma - 3.91 Arts & Sciences
- Jordan Dobrich, LB - Nevada - 3.85 Mechanical Engineering
- Spencer Drango, OT - Baylor - 3.71 Finance
- Blake Frohnapfel, QB - Massachusetts - 3.65 Finance/Economics
- Jordan Italiano, S - Kent State - 3.98 Biochemistry
- Jason Vander Laan, QB - Ferris State (Mich.) - 3.77 App. Math & Actuarial Science