Wyoming Has Three Individuals Named to the 2010 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's Hampshire Honor Society

May 4, 2010


The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced on Tuesday its 2010 Hampshire Honor Society Class. This year's class includes three Wyoming Cowboys. University of Wyoming seniors Russ Arnold, Weston Johnson and Jesson Salyards all received the national honor.

Requirements for the award are:

  • Being a starter or significant contributor in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA or NAIA college or university;
  • Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average throughout one's entire course of undergraduate study; and
  • Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

    This year's Hampshire Honor Society class included a total of 620 student-athletes from 246 schools, which was an 80 percent increase from the inaugural class in 2007.

    "All three of these young men were great representatives of Wyoming Football during their college careers," said Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen. "Weston (Johnson), Russ (Arnold) and Jesson (Salyards) all played key roles in helping us enjoy a successful season this past year. They provided outstanding leadership for their teammates on the field, and they obviously were just as successful in the classroom. We congratulate them on earning this well-deserved, national recognition."

    "It is always great to see our student-athletes be recognized for their accomplishments both on and off the field of competition," said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. "These three young men achieved at the highest level academically, and they will all graduate by the end of this semester. Going forward, I know they will be successful in whatever careers they pursue, and they will be outstanding ambassadors for our university. This is a great honor they have received, and I couldn't be happier for them."

    Arnold was the starting center for the Cowboys this past season, and was a team captain. A native of Westminster, Colo., he achieved a 3.31 cumulative grade-point average in business administration at UW.

    Johnson is a native of Wray, Colo. He started at outside linebacker for the Cowboys, and was also a team captain in `09. Johnson has earned a 3.44 cumulative gpa in marketing at Wyoming. Following the recent 2010 NFL Draft, he signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

    Salyards came to Wyoming from Haxtun, Colo., and was the starting tight end for the Pokes. He achieved a 3.47 cumulative grade-point average in mechanical engineering, and has already secured a job with John Deere Corporation in Iowa.

    This year marks the fourth consecutive year, since the award was established, that the Wyoming Cowboys had three individuals selected. In the first year of the awards in 2007, senior Cowboys Mike Groover, Tyler Holden and John Wendling were all named to the team. In 2008, former Cowboys Luke Chase, Sean Claffey and Brandon Haugen achieved their place in the Hampshire Honor Society. A year ago, Cowboys Jake Edmunds, Michael Ray and Chris Sundberg were all recognized.

    Wyoming was one of only 17 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams (formerly Division IA) to have at least three individuals named to this year's team. There were 120 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams this past year.

    UW was also one of only four Mountain West Conference schools to have multiple players earn the award this year. BYU had eight players selected, Utah had four, Wyoming had three and CSU had two. San Diego State and UNLV each had one student-athlete selected.

    Leading the way among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams were: Wyoming (3), Brigham Young (8), Central Michigan (5), Indiana (3), Kent State (3), Louisiana-Lafayette (3), Middle Tennessee (3), Minnesota (6), Navy (3), Northwestern (6), Notre Dame (3), Ohio State (6), Penn State (3), Rice (3), Syracuse (3), Texas (7) and Utah (4).

    The NFF Hampshire Honor Society was created in 2007 to honor college football student-athletes in all divisions. Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of the Hampshire Companies, established an endowment to fund the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in `07. He was a former NFF Chairman from 1994-2006.