DURHAM, N.C. – Duke redshirt senior offensive tackle Perry Simmons was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards and William V. Campbell Trophy, the NFF announced.
Simmons, who owns a 3.8 grade point average as a civil engineering major, is one of 170 student-athletes – and 54 in the Football Bowl Subdivision – in consideration for the prestigious NFF academic recognition. A first team Academic All-America selection in 2012, Simmons will look to follow former Duke standout Sean Renfree (‘12) who was one of 10 finalists for the award last season.
In addition his academic accolades, which also include three All-ACC Academic Football Team selections and four berths on the ACC Academic Honor Roll, Simmons has been a mainstay on the Duke offensive line since his freshman season, starting a team-best 42 consecutive games while playing over 3,000 snaps. In 2012 he paved the way for a record-setting Duke offense that scored a school-record 50 touchdowns and carried Duke to its first bowl berth since the 1994 season. This season he has blocked for a Duke offense that averages 451.6 total yards per game, including 193.0 rushing yards which is the most in the David Cutcliffe Era.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, 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, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th 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.
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 past recipients of the William V. 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); Florida’s Tim Tebow (2009); Texas’ Sam Acho (2010); Army’s Andrew Rodriguez (2011); and Alabama’s Barrett Jones (2012).