Four MW Football Student-Athletes Selected as Semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy

IRVING, Texas – Four Mountain West football student-athletes have been selected by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) as semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy. Boise State’s Jake Hardee, Fresno State’s Justin Northern, Nevada’s Jordan Dobrich and Rafe Kiely of Wyoming are among the list of 135 semifinalists (56 from the Football Bowl Subdivision). 

Hardee, a redshirt senior for the Broncos, is a criminal justice major and owns a cumulative grade-point average of 3.60. In addition to his standout run-blocking from the tight end position as well as pass-catching contributions, he is a three-time Academic All-Mountain West selection (2013-15) and a two-time recipient of the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award (2014-15).

Northern, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, has started in 30 consecutive games for the Bulldogs at right tackle and has gained notoriety for his work off the field as well. He is also a candidate for the AFCA Good Works Team, one of 30 candidates up for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award and is on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy. The Lakewood, California, native is a two-time Academic All-District selection and three-time Mountain West Scholar Athlete Award recipient.  

Dobrich, a three-year team captain at Nevada, has played in 40 games with 189 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his Wolf Pack career. The Magalia, California, native is as accomplished in the classroom as he is on the field, having twice been named a Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. Dobrich is a mechanical engineering major at Nevada and is in the top 10 percent of his class with a 3.85 cumulative grade point average. Last season, Dobrich was named to the 2014 Academic All-Mountain West team and was a MW Scholar-Athlete selection.

Kiely, a senior center, completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing in December of 2014.  He has achieved a 3.398 cumulative grade-point average and is currently pursuing studies in supply chain management and logistics at UW.  Kiely, who is originally from Wheaton, Illinois, has played in 24 career games and started 17 for the Cowboys. Among Kiely’s academic achievements were being named to the 2015 Spring Semester President’s List (4.00 GPA) at the University of Wyoming and earning 2013 and 2014 Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors.  

The NFF will announce 15 finalists on Oct. 29, 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 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared in dramatic fashion the winner of the 26th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
“These 135 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 Bill Campbell, the 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. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11 million.