Oct. 20, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) has announced the 148 semifinalists for the 2006 Draddy Trophy, presented by Health South. University of Wyoming senior strong safety John Wendling is one of the semifinalists for this year's award. The Draddy Trophy honors one individual as the best in the country for his combined academic achievement, football performance and outstanding community leadership. The award is named for former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who founded Izod and Lacoste brand clothing.
Wendling has achieved a 3.427 cumulative grade-point-average in business administration. He was a 2006 preseason First Team All-Mountain West Conference selection, and in 2005 was a Second Team Academic All-District VII honoree.
Each college or university is limited to one nominee. Nominations are invited from all NCAA divisions and NAIA member schools. To qualify, a student-athlete must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, and have a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The nominee also must have displayed outstanding football ability and demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
The 148 nominees for the Draddy Trophy also become candidates for the NFF 2006 National Scholar-Athlete Awards. On Oct. 26, up to 15 finalists for the Draddy Trophy will be announced by the NFF Award Committee, that is comprised of former coaches, NFF Hall of Famers and college administrators. The winner of the Draddy Trophy will be announced at the 49th NFF Awards Dinner on Dec. 5 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The winner will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Each of the other finalists will also be honored at the Dec. 5 awards dinner, and each of the other finalists will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
This year's list of 148 semifinalists included 64 candidates from NCAA Division I-A schools. The average GPA on this year's nominees is 3.51. Offensive lineman produced the most nominees this year, with 44. Defensive backs, of which Wendling is one, came in second with 24 candidates.
In 2004, former Wyoming center Trenton Franz was one of the finalists for the award and received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Franz is currently pursuing his graduate studies in engineering at Princeton University.