DALLAS, Texas -- Senior offensive lineman Matt Boyles has been named as one of the 170 candidates for the National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards, the NFF announced Wednesday.
The awards are presented by Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. The 170 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Boyles is one of 46 NCAA Division I FCS players on the list. He is one of three players from the Southland Conference nominated. The other two are Kollin Kahler from Lamar and Ryne Chambers from Stephen F. Austin.
An accounting major, Boyles has a 3.27 overall GPA and was named to the Academic All-Southland team as well as the Southland Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He is a member of the SHSU Honors Program and has been named to the Dean’s List three times.
The Mansfield, Texas native has blocked for the nation’s leading rusher this season, Timothy Flanders. The Bearkats have one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation through five games. Last season’s team was one of the most prolific in FCS history, becoming just third team ever to score more than 600 points.
“We take great pride in the record participation by the number of schools in the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program this year,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (William V. Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase that success on the football field starts with winners in the classroom and the community. This year’s record-breaking number of nominations further illustrates the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
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 would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools on this tremendous honor,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, which show that football players can balance between academics and athletics at the highest level. There is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from among this esteemed group.”
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. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, 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 and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $10.4 million.
2013 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program launched in 1959.
170 nominations, record number since minimum GPA increased in 2006.
3.60 Average GPA
7 nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
39 nominees with a 3.8 GPA or better
105 Team Captains
97 All-Conference Picks
29 Academic All-America Selections
21 All-America Selections
One former NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
54 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
46 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
24 Nominees from the Division II
39 Nominees from the Division III
7 Nominees from the NAIA
86 Offensive Players
64 Defensive Players
20 Special Teams Players