IRVING, Tex. (Oxford Family/Ole Miss Athletics) — Ole Miss senior kicker Nathan Noble is one of 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) on Wednesday.
The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Noble, in his fourth season as the Rebels’ kickoff specialist, graduated cum laude in December 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in managerial finance and is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration. He has made the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll four times and is a member of a variety of academic honor societies. The Greenville, Mississippi, native has also been active in volunteer efforts throughout his Ole Miss career.
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 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared in dramatic fashion the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
“These 156 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.”
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. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.1 million.
“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates.”
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.
Past Ole Miss NFF Scholar-Athletes include Steve Hindman (1968), Norris Weese (1973), Dick Lawrence (1975), Kent Austin (1985), Jeff Noblin (1986), Danny Hoskins (1987), Wesley Walls (1988) and Eli Manning (2003).
(Photo Courtesy: Petre Thomas, Ole Miss Athletics)