Oct. 31, 2013
Official NFF Release (Includes List of All Recipients)
IRVING, TX - Johns Hopkins University senior strong safety John Arena (Bryn Mawr, PA/St. Joe's Prep) has been selected to the 2013 National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Class it was announced today by NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. Arena is the first Johns Hopkins football player selected for this prestigious award since its inception in 1959. Arena is one of just 16 college football players from across the nation named to the team and he is also the first player in Centennial Conference history selected. He is also one of just two NCAA Division III players named to the team.
"We are extremely proud to present the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class," Hatchell noted. "With an average GPA of 3.79, these young men have a discernible and unrelenting commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. This class represents all that is right about college football, and the members serve as living examples of our mission to build leaders through football."
Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will travel to New York City to be honored December 10 during the 56th annual NFF 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. They each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and one member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the 24th recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The recipient of the Campbell Trophy will also be honored the NFF Board of Directors meeting and at a reception hosted by the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday, December 11.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell (the chairman of Intuit, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal), the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.4 million.
Arena carries a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and will graduate in December with a degree in neuroscience. He currently serves as a research assistant in the Johns Hopkins Division of Neuropathology and also completed a clinical practicum and neuroprotection research at the Movement Disorder Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has served as an academic tutor on campus and volunteers with KEEN (Kids Enjoying Exercise Now) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in May, 2013.
Arena recently took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and scored a 40, which ranks him in the 99.6-99.8 percentile among all test takers. He plans to enroll in medical school next fall.
On the field, Arena is a co-captain for 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins, which currently boasts a 7-0 record and sits alone in first place in the Centennial Conference with a 6-0 league mark. He ranks third on the team in tackles (28), tackles for losses (5.5) and sacks (4.0) and is the leader of a unit that 13th nationally in scoring defense (13.0) and 24th in total defense (276.6).
Arena has played in all 41 games in his career and has helped the Blue Jays to a 35-6 record, three Centennial Conference titles and two appearances in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. He is Johns Hopkins' career active leader in tackles (143) and counts 19.0 TFLs, nine sacks and five interceptions to his credit as well.
Arena earned First Team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and Second Team All-Centennial Conference honors as a junior. He has twice been named to the Centennial Conference Football Academic Honor Roll and is currently serving as the President of the Johns Hopkins Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi.
The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year's class members finds themselves in good company, as past National Scholar-Athletes include former NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); Southern California Athletics Director Pat Haden (USC); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); West Virginia Athletics Director Oliver Luck (West Virginia); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale).
- 30 -