Kirven Named As Candidate for NFF Scholar-Athlete Award

Sept. 29, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming senior offensive tackle Clayton Kirven from Buffalo, Wyo., was named as a candidate for this year's National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Fidelity Investments, and the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, in an announcement made by the NFF on Thursday.

Kirven is one of only 127 candidates from all divisions of college football nominated for this year's award, and is one of only 47 nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

On Oct. 26, 2011, the NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 individuals out of this original group of 127 nominees as National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients. Each of those National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and will travel to New York City in December as finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

The William V. Campbell Trophy is named for former Columbia University player and coach Campbell, who went on to become chairman of Intuit. The Campbell Trophy, often referred to as the "Academic Heisman", was first awarded in 1990. This year's Trophy will be awarded to the best scholar-athlete in the nation at the 54th Annual NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Dec. 6. The winner will receive an additional $7,000 in postgraduate scholarship aid for a total of $25,000, and will receive a 25-pound bronze trophy.

To be eligible for nomination, a college football player must: be a senior or graduate student in their final year of NCAA eligibility; have achieved a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade-point average 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.

Kirven achieved a 3.23 cumulative grade-point average, graduating with his bachelor's degree in kinesiology and health promotion in August of 2011. He is currently taking postgraduate courses, and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in exercise science. On the football field, he has started 36 of 40 career games at offensive tackle and was a starter on Wyoming's 2009 New Mexico Bowl Championship team. He has earned Mountain West Academic All-Conference honors each of the past three years.

Wyoming has had four individuals earn NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards and postgraduate scholarships from the NFF through the years. The first was Pat Smyth in 1959. Marty Eliopulos received the honor in 1986. Beginning in 1990, the William V. Campbell Trophy was first instituted, and since that time Wyoming has had two individuals advance to become finalists. In 2004, Trenton Franz was one of the finalists for the award, earned a postgraduate scholarship and went on to complete his Ph.D. in engineering at Princeton. Three years later in 2007, John Wendling was one of 17 finalists for the Campbell Trophy. Wendling currently plays for the Detroit Lions of the NFL.