Starting senior left guard Jacob Vazquez was named a semifinalist for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, which honors a football player for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced 156 semifinalists for the prestigious award. Every school can nominate one athlete who is a senior or graduate student and has at least a 3.2 GPA. It is required the nominee have strong leadership and citizenship as well as outstanding football ability.
Vazquez is in graduate school working on a Master of Arts in Education; he already graduated with a 4.0 GPA in agricultural business.
“It’s an honor,” Vazquez said. “I work hard at my school work, so to get recognition is a humbling experience.”
According to Vazquez, the whole team deserves recognition, not just him.
“There’s a lot of guys on this team that really care a lot about their academics as well as their athletic career, so hopefully that reflects well on the team,” Vazquez said.
The NFF will announce 12 to 14 finalists on Nov. 1. Each finalist will be given an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and honored on Dec. 6 in New York City at the 59th annual NFF awards dinner. The winner will be given a postgraduate scholarship of $25,000 along with a 25-pound bronze trophy of a football player.
He said if he wins the scholarship he would use the money to continue his education beyond Fresno State.
Vazquez played for Butte Junior College before walking onto the Bulldogs football team in 2014, later earning a scholarship. The past two seasons he was named to the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete team.
Former winners of the Campbell Trophy include Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow.