Wendling Among 17 Draddy Trophy Finalists

Oct. 26, 2006


Selected as the best and the brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) today announced the 17 members of the 2006 National Scholar-Athlete Class, who will vie as the finalists for the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth. Included in the elite list is Wyoming's John Wendling.


  • Brian Daniels - University of Colorado - OG - Finance - Superior, Colo.
  • Rhema Fuller - University of Connecticut - DT - Finance - Cocoa, Fla.
  • Jay Henry - West Virginia University - LB - Finance / Accounting - Tulsa, Okla.
  • Chris Leak - University of Florida - QB - Sociology - Charlotte, N.C.
  • Brian Leonard - Rutgers University FB - Labor & Employment Rels. - Hailesboro, N.Y.
  • Carl Pendleton - University of Oklahoma - DT -Sociology - Sapulpa, Okla.
  • Paul Posluszny - Penn State University - LB - Finance - Aliquippa, Pa.
  • Joe Thomas - University of Wisconsin - OT - Business - Brookfield, Wis.
  • John Wendling - University of Wyoming - S - Business Admin. - Rock Springs, Wyo.


  • Ed McCarthy - Yale University - OL - History - Fairfield, Conn.
  • Luke Palko - Saint Francis Univ. (Pa.) - WR - Accounting - Imperial, Pa.
  • Kristian Smith - Alabama A&M University - OL - Telecommunications - Alpine, Calif.


  • Michael Klobucher - Ferris State Univ. (Mich.) - LB - Applied Bio. - Grand Haven, Mich.
  • Ryan Meredith - Pittsburg State Univ. (Ka.) - DE - Management - Pittsburg, Kan.


  • Aaron Lewis - Carnegie Mellon Univ. (Pa.) - DB - Business Admin. - Englewood, Ohio
  • P.J. Theisen - Univ. of St. Thomas (Minn.) - WR - Accounting - Elko, Minn.


  • Brad Cook - St. Ambrose Univ. (Iowa) - C - Economics / Finance - Bettendorf, Iowa

    With a 3.7 average GPA, 13 of the players have earned all-conference recognition on the field and 15 of them have served as captains of their teams. Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average 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.

    "We take great pride in providing each member of the scholar-athlete class with a coveted $18,000 scholarship for their post-graduate studies," said NFF President Steven J. Hatchell. "They have set the standard for their teammates and for all who play sports. By highlighting their achievements, we hope to inspire future generations of student-athletes to higher levels of achievement in all aspects of their lives."

    Selected by the NFF Awards Committee, comprised of former coaches, Hall of Famers and college administrators, the 17 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients will be honored at the 49th NFF Awards Dinner on December 5 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

    "After thorough review of 148 outstanding candidates representing schools from all levels of collegiate play, the committee's deliberations resulted in the selection of an exceptional class of 17 scholar-athletes," said Robert E. Mulcahy III, chairman of the NFF Awards Committee and director of athletics at Rutgers University. "Knowing the importance and prestige of these awards, the committee takes the utmost care in making the selections, and I applaud them for their efforts."

    Each will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and one of the 17 will be announced as the recipient of the 2006 Draddy Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar- athlete in the nation. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a stunning 24- inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the winner's scholarship to a total of $25,000.