The Draddy is considered one of the highest honors in all of college
football and those selected as finalist will enjoy many rewards.
To reach this level, a college football first-team student athlete must
combine academics, on field performance and community leadership. Semifinalists must be a senior or
graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.0
on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and
have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Out of the total nominees are a record 64 from Division I-A. Finalist
will compete for the 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate
scholarship. Those not lucky enough
to win the big prize don’t walk away empty handed as each will be receiving an
$18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
This years finalist will be announced on October 26, and the winner
announced on December 5th at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City at a “Who’s –
Who’s” dinner of special guest and former college football greats.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete
program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both
academic and athletic accomplishments. The Draddy, first awarded in 1990, adds
to the program’s mystique. Past Draddy winners, including two Rhodes Scholars, a
Rhodes Scholar finalist, a Heisman winner and a 3.7 average GPA, are: Chris Howard (Air Force, 1990); John B. Culpepper (Florida, 1991); Jim Hansen
(Colorado, 1992); Thomas Burns (Virginia, 1993); Robert Zatechka (Nebraska,
1994); Bobby Hoying (Ohio State, 1995); Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996); Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1998); Chad Pennington
(Marshall, 1999); Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, 2000); Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami,
2001); Brandon Roberts (Washington University-Mo., 2002); Craig Krenzel (Ohio
State, 2003); Michael Munoz (Tennessee, 2004); and Rudy Niswanger (Louisiana
BCI NOTE: Bearcat Insider would like to
congratulate Brent Celek for making it this far. This is a special honor I’ve seen work
first hand. My brother Jeff Berk
was one of the 15 finalists in 2004 and used his post-graduate scholarship to
help finish his master’s degree in special education.