Brian Hernandez named semifinalist for NFF William V. Campbell Trophy

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IRVING, Texas — Nicholls State University offensive lineman Brian Hernandez has been named one of 37 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) semifinalists for the National Football Foundation’s 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Hernandez, a native of Baton Rouge and graduate of Dutchtown, is one of two players from the Southland Conference to be named semifinalist, joined by Stephen F. Austin’s Marlon Walls. In all, 181 student-athletes were selected from the FBS, FCS, Division II and III, and NAIA levels.

“These 181 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”

A three-year letterwinner, Hernandez graduated magna cum laude in the spring with a degree in biology/pre-med. Last year, he was named Southland All-Academic and CoSIDA Academic All-District for his outstanding effort on the field and in the classroom. Hernandez plans to attend veterinary school after finishing his playing career at Nicholls.

Hernandez has played in 27 games for the Colonels with 18 starts on the offensive line. In 2016, he was a key part of the offense that saw its scoring average nearly double from the previous season to 30.3 points per game. The offensive line also paved the way for five 100-yard rushing performances last season and had two running backs average 5.4 and 5.6 yards per carry.

The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy® is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000, which is endowed by HealthSouth. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.3 million. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.

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 playing 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.

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