DALLAS, Texas -- The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) has announced the members of the 2010 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, and seven members of the Huntingdon football team were honored for their scholastic achievement.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Justin Ridgeway, running back Alex Baronich, wide receiver Steven Laye, tight end Shane Corley and tackle Zach Sealy, as well as defensive lineman Tal Lynn and Josh Robertson were seven of a record-setting 620 players from 246 schools to qualify for membership in the society's fourth year, an 80 percent increase from the inaugural class in 2007.
In the first four years of the Honor Society, 20 Huntingdon football student-athletes have been recognized. Previous members include offensive linemen Philip Bailey, Gary Nelson, Will Brannon, C.J. Easterly, Cliff Groce, Matt Thompson and Avery Ford, quarterback Zach Golson, fullback Justin Nelson, wide receiver Mark Colson, defensive linemen Jacob Seales, Fred Shelby and Will Smith, linebacker Caleb Hartin, cornerback Bryan Wells and punter Yancey Gordon.
The seven Huntingdon honorees were a state high. Joining the Hawks on the list were Auburn’s John Cubelic, Jacksonville State’s Josh Cain, Samford’s Ty Levie, Alabama’s Colin Peek and North Alabama’s Will Batson and Luke Chenault.
Other notable players from around the country to be honored were top overall selection in the National Football League (NFL) draft and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida, Heisman finalist Colt McCoy of Texas, as well as teammate Jordan Shipley, D3Football.com’s South Region Player of the Year Spud Dick of DePauw and Gagliardi Trophy winner Blaine Westemeyer of Augustana in Illinois.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF National Honor Society include: Being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university; Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $9.2 million to 724 top scholars and community leaders. Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 15 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell, claimed by Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in 2009, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF awards an additional $800,000 to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship total to more than $1.1 million.