(STATS) - University of Montana football player Derek Crittenden was the only FCS representative named as one of 12 finalists for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
The Campbell Trophy is known as the "Academic Heisman" award.
Crittenden, a defensive end and Montana team captain, is a chemistry major whose 4.0 GPA is the highest of the finalists. He is the group's only Rhodes Scholarship candidate.
Crittenden will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. He will travel to the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8 in New York, where one member of the class will be honored with the Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
"It's an enormous honor to be among the highest-achieving players across the nation and I'm excited to meet them all in New York," said Crittenden, a Whitefish, Montana, native who is the Grizzly program's fourth NFF National Scholar-Athlete.
"Being named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy is a reflection of my individual effort, but, more importantly, it's a representation of the awesome support that I've had from coaches and professors over the past few years. My goal is to help teammates and kids across Montana realize that just because you play football, doesn't mean you can't excel in the classroom."
The other finalists selected from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA are:
E.K. Binns, offensive guard, Navy, 3.43 GPA, economics
Jacoby Boren, center, Ohio State, 3.83, sustainable plant systems
Jake Brendel, center, UCLA, 3.43, economics
Taveze Calhoun, defensive back, Mississippi State, 3.51, interdisciplinary studies
Ty Darlington, center, Oklahoma, 3.91, arts & sciences
Jordan Dobrich, linebacker, Nevada, 3.85, mechanical engineering
Spencer Drango, offensive tackle, Baylor, 3.71, finance
Blake Frohnapfel, quarterback, Massachusetts, 3.65, finance/economics
Jordan Italiano, safety, Kent State, 3.98, biochemistry
Hank Spencer, linebacker, Mount Union, 3.90, computer science
Jason Vander Laan, quarterback, Ferris State, 3.77, applied math & actuarial science