LEXINGTON, Ky. (5/10/13) – The National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame announced that University of Kentucky football seniors Craig McIntosh, Morgan Newton and Matt Smith have been named to the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.
A total of 703 players from 259 schools qualified for membership in the society's seventh year, marking the highest school participation in the history of the program, which began in 2007. Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his achievement.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire 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 and graduation.
“The growing number of schools involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Congratulations to each of these young men for their commitment to education and their leadership on and off the football field."
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.1 million to 771 top scholars and community leaders.
Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by All-American center Barrett Jones (Alabama) in 2012, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.3 million.
McIntosh was a three-year starter as the Wildcats’ placekicker, making 31 of 44 field goals and finishing his career as one of the top-10 scorers in Kentucky history. From Lexington, Ky., McIntosh was named to the Lou Groza Award Watch list and played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after the season. McIntosh ranks seventh all-time in school history in scoring with 174 points. He completed his degree in kinesiology.
Newton played in 31 games with 19 starts during his time as a Wildcat. He completed over 50 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns. He was named to the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team for his contributions to the community outside of football. Newton graduated with a degree in management.
Smith was one of two permanent team captains for Kentucky last season and played in 41 games with 34 starts in his UK career. The native of Louisville, Ky., was on the Rimington Trophy Watch List and was honored for academics by the NFF earlier in the season. He also was named one of eight finalists for the 2012 Wuerffel Trophy, which is a national award that honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement. He completed his bachelor’s degree in community communication and leadership development and has signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
Information provided by Tony Neely (UK Athletics)
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