Oct. 29, 2008
Yale senior CB Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas) has been named a 2008 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete and one of 15 finalists for the coveted Draddy Trophy.
Gerald, who is 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 Scholarship for character, intellect, achievement and leadership. Gerald has eight solo tackles and 12 overall this fall. Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Selected by the NFF Awards Committee, the 15 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients will be honored at the 2008 NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The event will also include the induction of the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame and the presentation of several major awards.
"We set extremely high standards just to be considered as a member of the NFF National Scholar- Athlete class," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Draddy winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "These individuals far exceed even those high standards, defining well-rounded excellence throughout their college careers. They are true ambassadors of our mission and a testament to the positive influence of football's ability to build our nation's future leaders."
The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is recognized as the first and most prestigious initiative in the history of college sports to honor football players for their combined athletic ability, academic success and civic leadership. This year's class members finds themselves in good company, as former National Scholar-Athletes 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).
"This year's selection process was incredibly difficult, as all 164 semifinalists were more than worthy of this award," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We feel the 2008 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Class is the most complete group - academically, athletically and in the community - we've ever showcased, and the finalists are without a doubt the most outstanding student-athletes among all college sports."
Each will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and one of the 15 will be announced as the recipient of the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. 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 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the winner's scholarship to $25,000. A total distribution of more than $275,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
SCHOLAR-ATHLETES AND DRADDY FINALISTS
ANDREW BERRY - CB - Harvard University
RYAN BERRY - QB - South Dakota State University
CHASE DANIEL - QB - University of Missouri
BRIAN FREEMAN - OT - Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.)
Casey Gerald - CB - Yale University
GRAHAM HARRELL - QB - Texas Tech University
QUIN HARRIS - LB - Louisiana Tech University
JEFF HORINEK - LB - Colorado State University
RYAN KEES - DE - St. Cloud State University (Minn.)
ALEX MACK - C - University of California (Berkeley)
RYAN McDONALD - OL - University of Illinois
GREG MICHELI - QB - Mount Union College (Ohio)
DARRYL RICHARD - DT - Georgia Tech
BRIAN ROBISKIE - WR - Ohio State University
LOUIE SAKODA - P/K - University of Utah
2008 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE NOTES
3.71 Average GPA
12 Team Captains (R.Berry, Daniel, Freeman, Harrell, Harris, Horinek, Kees, Mack, McDonald, Micheli, Richard, Robiskie)
15-of-15 Academic All-Conference Athletes
10 All-Conference Athletes (A.Berry, Daniel, Harrell, Harris, Horinek, Kees, Mack, Micheli, Robiskie, Sakoda)
Six ESPN The Magazine Academic All- America Selections (A.Berry, Freeman, McDonald, Micheli, Richard, Robiskie)
Four All-America Picks (Daniel, Mack, Micheli, Sakoda)
One Heisman Trophy Finalist (Daniel)
One Rhodes Scholar Semifinalist (Gerald)
Five Four-Year Starters (A.Berry, Harris, Horinek, McDonald, Sakoda)
Six Members of Nationally Ranked Teams (A.Berry, Daniel, Harrell, Micheli, Robiskie, Sakoda)
Five Members of Conference Championship Teams (A.Berry, R.Berry, Gerald, Micheli, Robiskie)
Two Players in a National Championship Game (Micheli, Robiskie)
Eight Offensive Players (R.Berry, Daniel, Freeman, Harrell, Mack, McDonald, Micheli, Robiskie)
Six Defensive Players (A.Berry, Gerald, Harris, Horinek, Kees, Richard)
One Special Teams Player (Sakoda)