Sept. 27, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The semifinalists for the 2012 National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, and the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, were announced on Thursday. University of Wyoming senior free safety Luke Ruff was one of the 147 student-athletes in the nation at all levels of college football to be named to the list. Ruff was one of only 50 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athletes and the only student-athlete from a Mountain West Conference school honored this year.
The Campbell Trophy, which has also been referred to as the "Academic Heisman", is presented annually to the top football scholar-athlete in the nation.
On Oct. 25, 2012, the NFF Award Committee will select up to 16 recipients of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Those recipients will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and will become finalists for the 2012 Campbell Trophy. Each of the finalists will travel to New York City for the 55th Annual NFF Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 2012, at the Waldorf-Astoria where this year's winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced. The winner receives a 25-pound bronze trophy and an additional $7,000 in postgraduate money, bringing their total to $25,000.
"We are extremely proud of Luke (Ruff) being recognized among the top student-athletes in the nation," said UW head football coach Dave Christensen. "He is a great team leader for our program on and off the field, and to accomplish what he has as an engineering major on top of his accomplishments as a football player shows how truly special of a young man he is."
"Luke Ruff represents the best in college athletics," said UW Athletics Director Tom Burman. "He has represented our athletic department and our university in as fine a manner as you can ask of a student-athlete. Luke is proof that with hard work and dedication you can achieve your goals both as a student and as an athlete."
To qualify for the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, a student-athlete must: be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility; have a cumulative-grade-point average of 3.20 or better on a 4.00 scale; have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor; and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Ruff, a native of Castle Rock, Colo., carries a 3.59 cumulative-grade-point average in civil engineering, and is one of four team captains for the Cowboys this season. He earned Second Team All-Mountain West Conference honors from conference head coaches and media members as a junior in 2011. He was voted by conference media members as a 2012 Preseason First Team All-Mountain West selection at this summer's Mountain West Media Days. As both a sophomore and junior, Ruff was selected to the CoSIDA Capital One First Team Academic All-District VII team, and he has earned Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Conference honors each of the past three years.
The University of Wyoming has had four former student-athletes advance on as finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy and earn postgraduate scholarships from the NFF. Those four were: guard Pat Smyth in 1959; linebacker Marty Eliopulos in 1986; center Trenton Franz in 2004; and strong safety John Wendling in 2006.
2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Candidate Notes
3.57 Average GPA
29 nominees with a 3.80 GPA or better
91 Team Captains
74 All-Conference Picks
21 Academic All-America Selections
14 All-America Selections
50 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
35 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
12 Nominees from the Division II
41 Nominees from the Division III
9 Nominees from the NAIA
68 Offensive Players
53 Defensive Players
26 Special Teams Players