NEW YORK, December 6, 2011 - United States Military Academy linebacker Andrew Rodriguez has been named the 22nd recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, at the 54th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York City tonight.
"We are thrilled to honor Andrew as the nation's top scholar-athlete," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "The 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class was perhaps the best ever, and for Andrew to stand above them all really says a lot about his accomplishments. Given his considerable commitments to the U.S. military and his outstanding performance in the classroom while accomplishing everything he has as a football player makes him the clear choice as the best scholar-athlete in college football."
The Campbell Trophy is one of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. The award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship. A total of $300,000 was awarded to Rodriguez and the other 15 other members of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, who comprised the list of Campbell Trophy finalists. Each member of the class claimed an $18,000 scholarship for their post-graduate educations.
"Andrew Rodriguez and the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class represent all that is right about college football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "This class embodies the perfect snapshot of what it means to be a student-athlete, and each member will surely become leaders in whatever field they choose."
Carrying a 4.14 GPA as a mechanical engineering major, Rodriguez ranks third in a class of 1,052 cadets. He has posted 21 A-plus grades and recorded six terms with a GPA of 4.0 or higher. He is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and has qualified for the Dean's List five times.
On the field, Rodriguez claims 140 career tackles in 23 career games. As a sophomore in 2009, Rodriguez stepped into the starting lineup at linebacker and led the Black Knights with 85 tackles while also registering two interceptions, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. He recorded a career-best 15 tackles versus archrival Navy and also posted 14 stops against rival Air Force that season.
Rodriguez missed the entire 2010 season due to what was originally thought to be a career-ending back injury, but returned as a team captain in 2011 to appear in all 11 contests. He currently ranks third on the squad with 55 tackles, claims one interception and 1.5 tackles for loss. He leads the team in pass breakups, passes defended and fumble recoveries. Rodriguez and the Black Knights will face Navy in Landover, Md. this Saturday, Dec. 10 (2:30 p.m. ET, CBS).
In the summer of 2010, Rodriguez was chosen to participate in the West Point Academic Development Program in Vincenza, Italy. He spent this past summer completing the West Point chain of command detail. A native of Alexandria, Va., he is the son of Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces Command David Rodriguez. His sister, Amy, graduated from West Point in 2006 and recently completed a tour of duty in Iraq.
Rodriguez is Army's first Campbell Trophy winner and the school's 14th NFF National Scholar-Athlete. Rodriguez was named a NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete in 2008, representing the NFF National Capital (Va.) Chapter. He is just the fifth NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete to also be selected as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, and joins Ohio State's Bobby Hoying as the only former NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes to win the William V. Campbell Trophy. He joins 1990 Campbell Trophy winner Chris Howard (Air Force) as the only winners representing a service academy.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and the program has awarded $9.8 million to 756 top athletes since its inception. Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
The centerpiece to the NFF's scholar-athlete program, the Campbell Trophy was first awarded in 1990. It is named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal.
The Past Recipients of the William V. Campbell Trophy
- Chris Howard (Air Force, 1990 - College President)
- Brad Culpepper (Florida, 1991 - Attorney)
- Jim Hansen (Colorado, 1992 - Leader in Climatological Research)
- Thomas Burns (Virginia, 1993 - Engineering Executive)
- Robert Zatechka (Nebraska, 1994 - Physician)
- Bobby Hoying (Ohio State, 1995 - Real Estate Executive)
- Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996 - Nonprofit Executive Director)
- Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997 - NFL Player)
- Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1998 - Television Broadcaster & Insurance Executive)
- Chad Pennington (Marshall, 1999 - NFL Player)
- Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, 2000 - NFL Player)
- Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami, 2001 - Corporate Executive)
- Brandon Roberts (Washington University in St. Louis, 2002 - Physician)
- Craig Krenzel (Ohio State, 2003 - Insurance Executive)
- Michael Munoz (Tennessee, 2004 - Marketing Manager)
- Rudy Niswanger (Louisiana State University, 2005 - NFL Player)
- Brian Leonard (Rutgers University, 2006 - NFL Player)
- Dallas Griffin (University of Texas, 2007 - Corporate Finance Associate)
- Alex Mack (University of California, 2008 - NFL Player)
- Tim Tebow (University of Florida, 2009 - NFL Player)
- Sam Acho (University of Texas, 2010 - NFL Player)
The 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, and Campbell Trophy Finalists