DALLAS, Texas--University of Mount Union senior linebacker Sam Kershaw (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) has been named a semifinalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy) given by the National Football Foundation.
The award also commonly referred to as the "Academic Heisman" is one of the highest honors a college football player can receive. Every school in the nation can nominate one senior or graduate student in his final year of eligibility, who must have at least a 3.2 grade point average, outstanding football ability as a first team player of significant contributor and demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Kershaw is one of 121 national semifinalists, the only one from the Ohio Athletic Conference and just 27 in NCAA Division III. The field will be trimmed to 15 finalists and each will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and be invited to 2010 NFF National Awards banquet on Dec. 7 in New York City. There the Campbell Trophy winner will have his scholarship increased to $25,000.
Two Mount Union players have been among the 15 national finalists in recent years -- quarterback Greg Micheli in 2008 and offensive lineman Eric Safran in 2007.
In 2008, Kershaw replaced an injured starter midway through the season and ended up leading the Purple Raiders in tackles on their way to a record 10th National Championship. Last season, Kershaw again was among the team's top tacklers, earned All-OAC first team honors and won the OAC's Gene Slaughter Award as the conference's top linebacker in helping the Raiders get back to the Stagg Bowl. Now in 2010 he is just one of four returning starters on a young defense hoping to lead the Raiders to another successful season.
Off the field, he is a business administration major with a 3.45 grade point average, a 2009 Academic All-OAC selection and spent this past summer interning with The Ruff-D'Herete Investment Group and UBS Financial Services in Columbus, Ohio.