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Marback Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy

Marback is NFF Semifinalist (Jack Warhola image)
Marback is NFF Semifinalist (Jack Warhola image)

Lineman Represents Yale with NFF


IRVING, Texas - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the 181 semifinalists for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, and that includes Yale senior offensive lineman Karl Marback. The award recognizes an individual as the "absolute best" football scholar-athlete in the nation.


The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. During the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.


Marback, a starting left tackle this fall who served as the team's top center in 2016, is a biomedical engineering major (3.35 GPA) and the team's "rocket scientist." He has been sending devices into space as part of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA). The 6-foot-5, 296-pound tackle helped build a rocket his sophomore year that climbed to 10,000 feet and collected microbes from the air to learn more about what is living in the atmosphere.


The Birmingham, Mich., native moved from the Yale defense as a sophomore and then started every game at center last year.


"These 181 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. "It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year's semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders."


Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy® is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000, which is endowed by HealthSouth. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $11.3 million. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.


A dozen Yalies have been honored at the famous event as NFF Scholar-Athletes, the latest being Tyler Varga in 2014.


"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."


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 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.




  • 59th Year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program
  • 181 Nominations
  • 3.59 Average GPA
  • 8 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
  • 40 Nominees with a 3.8 GPA or better
  • 60 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better
  • 27 Academic All-America Selections
  • 114 Captains
  • 76 All-Conference Picks
  • 19 All-Americans
  • 10 Members of the 2017 AFCA Good Works Team
  • 71 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
  • 37 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
  • 30 Nominees from NCAA Division II
  • 33 Nominees from NCAA Division III
  • 10 Nominees from the NAIA
  • 102 Offensive Players
  • 67 Defensive Players
  • 12 Special Teams Players


Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and it has recognized 828 outstanding individuals since its inception. The Campbell Trophy®, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's prestige, 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 of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. In 2014, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy®.