Oct. 1, 2008
Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas), a senior CB on the Yale football team, has been named a semifinalist for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame's (NFF) top scholar-athlete award. The 164 semifinalists for the Trophy presented by HealthSouth are also candidates for the 2008 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Awards.
"The Draddy Trophy is one of college football's most sought after and competitive awards," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Draddy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "It recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership, and we're incredibly proud to select the next winner from this remarkable group of semifinalists."
Gerald, a Gates Scholar with a 3.68 GPA in political science, is applying for a Rhodes Scholarship (interested in philosophy and development studies) and has already been admitted to Harvard Business School (MBA). He received the 2008 Levi Jackson (former Yale captain) Scholarship for character, intellect, achievement and leadership. Gerald has 2-1-3 and one PBU this fall.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists 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. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 25- pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
"The Draddy semifinalists represent everything good about college football," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "They are another fine example of how football builds leaders, and it is the NFF's duty to promote their accomplishments while encouraging future generations of gridiron standouts to aim high on and off the football field."
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2008 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 9 at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both academic and athletic accomplishments. The Draddy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a Heisman winner. The University of Texas's Dallas Griffin was named the 2007 Draddy recipient.
Notable NFF National Scholar-Athlete alumni include NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker (Oregon State), Gary Beban (UCLA); Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida).
2008 DRADDY SEMIFINALIST GROUP NOTES 3.56 Average GPA 67 All-Conference Picks 102 Team Captains 10 2007 First Team Academic All-America Selections Two 2007 First Team All-America Selections 16 of the top 25 teams in this week's AP Poll represented 57 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision 43 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision 15 Nominees from the Division II 37 Nominees from the Division III 12 Nominees from the NAIA 82 Offensive Players 63 Defensive Players 19 Special Teams Players