Army linebacker earns postgraduate scholarship and is finalist for William V. Campbell Trophy
DALLAS, TEXAS - Army senior linebacker Andrew Rodriguez has been named one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes. Selected from a pool of 127 semifinalists, Rodriguez earned a postgraduate scholarship and is now a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top football scholar-athlete.
The winner of the 2011 Campbell Trophy will be announced at the 54th Annual NFF Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Rodriguez is the first Army player to earn NFF Scholar-Athlete status since Shaun Castillo in 1999.
Rodriguez, chosen as one of the Black Knights' three captains by his teammates, is back on the field this season after missing all of 2010 with a back injury. He has started six of the Army's seven games, and ranks fourth on the team with 35 tackles. Rodriguez has accounted for a team-leading three takeaways, intercepting a pass and recovering a team-high two fumbles.
The Alexandria, Va., native was the Black Knights' leading tackler in 2009. For his career, he has racked up 120 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 19 games.
In the classroom, Rodriguez boasts a 4.14 grade-point average. He was a 2009 CoSIDA Academic All-District I selection and has been on the West Point dean's list five times.
Rodriguez is no stranger to National Football Foundation awards. He was named the organization's East Region High School Scholar Athlete of the Year following his senior year. Rodriguez is only the fifth person ever to earn the high school honor and repeat as a college scholar-athlete.
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 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The scholar-athlete 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. Named in honor of Bill Campbell, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000.
The other members of this year's scholar-athlete class include Drew Butler (Georgia), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Micha Davis (Delta State), John Dowd (Navy), Yaser Elqutub (Northwestern State), Chris Ganious (South Dakota), Clay Garcia (Colorado School of Mines), Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois), Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State), Chaz Hine (South Florida), Joe Holland (Purdue), Jared Karstetter (Washington State), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), Patrick Witt (Yale) and Michael Zweifel (University of Dubuque).
The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, has previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks. The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); and Texas' Sam Acho (2010).