Lincoln – Nebraska All-American Spencer Long was chosen as one of 170 candidates for the 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, on Wednesday. The candidates also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Long, a senior offensive guard has been a mainstay in the Husker offense line the past two-plus seasons. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder has started 31 straight games for Nebraska. As a junior, he earned second-team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten honors, as Nebraska lead the Big Ten in rushing offense and total offense. A team co-captain this season, Long has helped Nebraska rank 14th nationally in both rushing offense (280.8 yards per game) and scoring offense (43.3 points per game) heading into Saturday’s Big Ten opener.
In the classroom, he has been a first-team Academic All-District VII pick in each of the last two years and has been on the academic honor roll in each of his eight semesters at Nebraska. Long, who originally walked on to the Husker program, is active in the Huskers’ Life Skills program, volunteering his time for visits to local hospitals and schools.
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 170 nominees come from all levels of college football, including FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
2013 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
· NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program launched in 1959.
· 170 nominations, record number since minimum GPA increased in 2006.
· 3.60 Average GPA
· 7 nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
· 39 nominees with a 3.8 GPA or better
· 105 Team Captains
· 97 All-Conference Picks
· 29 Academic All-America Selections
· 21 All-America Selections
· One former NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
· 54 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
· 46 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
· 24 Nominees from the Division II
· 39 Nominees from the Division III
· 7 Nominees from the NAIA
· 86 Offensive Players
· 64 Defensive Players
· 20 Special Teams Players