Witzmann Named to NFF Hampshire Honor SocietyApril 24, 2009
Courtesy of the National Football Foundation
DALLAS, Texas - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame announced yester the members of the 2009 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. A total of 564 players from 266 schools qualified for membership in the society's third year, a 27 percent increase from the 2008 class. In its inaugural year in 2007, the Hampshire Honor Society honored over 300 students from 195 schools.
For the second year in a row, Charleston Southern had an athlete honored in the group with Justin Witzmann earning the honor. Witzmann was a second-team All-Big South selection this past season, having played in every game over the course of his two-year career. He finished the year with 42 total tackles, including eight tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks, forcing a pair of fumbles. His best game was against Presbyterian when he had eight tackles and two sacks. He was the top CSU scholar-athlete on the football team for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years, earning a spot on the Big South’s all-academic team this past season. He was named an ADA Academic All-Star and was a finalist for the NACDA’s post-graduate scholarship.
Witzmann was one of four Big South athletes to earn a spot in the Honor Society for 2009.
Qualifications for membership in the inaugural 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.
The National Honor Society becomes the latest component of the organization's efforts to promote combined athletic and academic success. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for his combined academic success, football performance and community leadership.
"There is no question that the lessons learned on the field translate directly into success later in life," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, "And the members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society serve as the perfect example of football's ability to teach leadership skills. We are proud to showcase the accomplishments of this group as part of the NFF's mission in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal."
Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $8.9 million to 708 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 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Draddy, claimed by Cal center Alex Mack in 2008, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a stunning 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.
A full list of the society can be found here.