December 4, 2008

Gerald One of 15 Draddy Trophy Finalists; Will Speak at NFF's Annual Awards Dinner

Dec. 4, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale senior cornerback Casey Gerald (Dallas, Texas), a finalist for the National Football Foundation's Draddy Trophy, will speak on behalf of all 15 finalists at the organization's Annual Awards Dinner Tuesday night at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The winner of the Draddy Trophy, which recognizes an individual for academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership, will be announced at the dinner.

Gerald is a 2008 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete. He and the other Draddy Trophy finalists receive an $18,000 scholarship, while the nation's top scholar-athlete from among the finalists will be announced as the 19th recipient of the coveted NFF Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth. The centerpiece to the NFF's scholar-athlete program, which has awarded over $8.9 million to 708 top athletes, the Draddy Trophy honors former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands. The award, college football's most prestigious academic honor, comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the winner's scholarship by $7,000 to $25,000.

Gerald, who was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, is a Gates Millenium Scholar and a 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-District pick who has already been accepted at Harvard Business School for 2011. The recipient of the New England Football Writers Association's annual Jerry Nason Award for senior achievement and a finalist for the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) Sportsmanship Award, he overcame absentee parents, a tough neighborhood upbringing, injuries and expectations as a former NFL player's son to become a leader for the Bulldogs. He started Yale's last 30 games on defense and finished his career with 61 solo tackles and one interception.

Gerald is just one of Yale's NFF honorees on the day. Freshman linebacker Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) was one of five college football players selected by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame as a 2008 High School Scholar-Athlete. Haynes, the West region's representative from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, will be acknowledged earlier Tuesday at an NFF luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Haynes, valedictorian in a highly competitive class of 256 students, tallied an impeccable 4.6 GPA on a 4.465 scale. His many honors included membership in the National Honor Society, the Jesuits Excellence Award, the College of Holy Cross Book Award and being named a National Merit Scholar. Vice President of the Black Student Union, he participated in student government and the Executive Student Council while serving as a Big Brother during the school's freshman retreat.

The NFF will also honor former Yale football play-by-play announcer Dick Galiette with the Schenkel Award at the dinner. Named in honor of its first recipient, legendary network broadcaster Chris Schenkel, the Schenkel Award seeks to recognize a sports broadcaster who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football at a single institution.

Known as one of Yale football's biggest fans, Galiette served as the university's play-by-play announcer from 1963-87 and then again from 1997 until his death in October 2005. From 1964-81, the seven-time Connecticut Sportscaster of the Year also acted as a sports anchor at WTNH-TV and worked as a SportsCenter anchor for ESPN in the early 80s.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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