IRVING, Texas — Tennessee senior offensive lineman Dylan Wiesman has been named as one of 156 semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments®, as announced by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation and is prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club. The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
“These 156 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
Wiesman has been a model scholar-athlete for the Vols. The kinesiology major owns a 3.47 GPA and is on schedule to graduate in December. He plans to pursue a postgraduate degree in pharmacy and has consistently earned Vol Scholar honors (student-athletes with a 3.0 GPA or higher) throughout his career. Wiesman as an SEC Academic Honor Roll selection in 2014 and 2015 and earned was named to the 2013-14 SEC First-Year Academic Honor roll following his freshman year.
Wiesman, who is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, has been a standout interior blocker on the Vols’ offensive line and his ability to play different positions has made him one of UT’s most valuable players. After starting the first two games of the season at right guard, Wiesman has started the past two games at center as the unit has battled injuries. Tennessee is averaging 186.5 rushing yards per game, topping the 200-yard mark twice (against Virginia Tech and Ohio). The Vols are averaging 387.8 yards of total offense per game in 2016.
Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient’s grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.1 million.
“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates.”
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 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.
The past recipients of the William V. 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 (Fla.)’s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)’s 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); California’s Alex Mack (2008); Florida’s Tim Tebow (2009); Texas’ Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point’s Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama’s Barrett Jones (2012); Penn State’s John Urschel (2013); Duke’s David Helton (2014); and Oklahoma’s Ty Darlington (2015).