DOVER, Del.- Delaware State University punter Marco Kano (sr.; Cottbus, Germany) is among 170 candidates for 2013 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete honors. The nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes individuals as the best scholar-athlete in the nation.
The 170 semifinalists represent the most since 2006 when the NFF increased the nomination standards to require a minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of 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.
Kano, DSU's starting punter since the 2010 season, entered 2013 Delaware State University Fall semester with a nearly perfect 3.99 grade-point-average (on a 4.0 scale) as an engineering/physics major with a minor in mathematics. He is one of 46 NFF scholar-athlete semifinalists from Football Championship Subdivision schools, and one of two from Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference institutions.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, Oct. 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th NFF Annual 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.
One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The William V. Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity Investments launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor ever in the 55-year history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF will present each of the faculty representatives with a plaque and a $5,000 check from Fidelity Investments to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.