BATON ROUGE – LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious William Campbell Trophy – also known as the Academic Heisman – the National Football Foundation announced on Wednesday.
Celebrating its 30th year in 2019, the award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
Ferguson is one of 185 players from across all divisions in college football to be named to the list.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments.
The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Ferguson, a senior from Smyrna, Ga., is in his fourth season as LSU’s starting long snapper. He’s been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times during his collegiate career as well as earning first team All-America recognition from Phil Steele Magazine, the only organization to recognize All-America honors for that position.
On the field, Ferguson became the first long snapper in LSU history to be named a permanent team captain last year as he helped the Tigers to a 10-3 overall mark, a Fiesta Bowl victory and a No. 6 final ranking.
In the classroom, Ferguson graduated in three years with a degree in marketing and will earn his Master’s in Business Administration from LSU in December.
In the community, Ferguson is active in many endeavors but is most passionate about working with children with diabetes. A Type 1 diabetic diagnosed in high school, Ferguson has become an advocate for the American Diabetes Association as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. As part of his advocacy for the disease, he was invited to Washington D.C. for the “Call To Congress” in the spring of 2018 to help raise awareness and funding for diabetes research.
Long snapper Ferguson is also the two-time chair of the SEC Football Leadership Council and regularly visits with SEC Presidents and SEC Athletic Directors on key policy issues in college sports.
“These 185 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “For more than 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. And we are excited to celebrate the 30th year of the William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which honors the best of the best. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
To be considered for the Campbell Trophy, nominees must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing 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.
Former Tiger Rudy Niswanger was named the recipient of the Campbell Trophy in 2005. Other LSU finalists for the award include Robert Dugas (1978), James Britt (1982), Nacho Albergamo (1987), Sol Graves (1990), Chad Kessler (1997), Bradie James (2002), and Rodney Reed (2003).