Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish is in New York City today, where he will be honored tonight as one of the National Football Foundation‘s 16 Scholar-Athletes for 2011 at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Already the recipients of an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, one of the Scholar-Athletes will win the William V. Campbell Trophy, one of the most prestigious honors in college football, which is presented annually to the player who exemplifies excellence on the field, in the classroom and as a leader.
Harnish’s trip officially began Monday when he and the other 15 Scholar-Athletes from across all divisions of college football gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Events began at the official National Scholar-Athlete Welcome Reception, where each Scholar-Athlete will be introduced and recognized.
Immediately following the reception, the group took in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and then enjoyed dinner at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant on Central Park South.
Harnish and his fellow honorees, including players from Georgia, Michigan State, South Dakota, Kansas State, South Florida, Purdue, Washington State, Army, Texas A&M and Yale, among others, were introduced during a formal press conference this morning.
In addition to the Scholar-Athletes, members of the 2011 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame will take part in the press conference, giving Harnish the opportunity to meet all-time greats and 2011 Hall of Fame inductees like Eddie George (Ohio State), Russell Maryland (Miami), Deion Sanders (Florida State) and Will Shields (Nebraska).
Tonight’s event is annual a “who’s who” of college football with athletic directors, head football coaches and media personalities from across the country in attendance.
Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren will attend along with Harnish’s parents, Ron and LeeAnn. The black-tie affair begins with a “team photo” of the Scholar-Athletes before the group adjourns to the Guest of Honor Reception with all of the VIPS, their families and guest.
Scholar-Athletes will be seated on the dais for the dinner and awards, which kicks off at 5:45 p.m. (CT) with the “Grand March.”
The NFF Awards Dinner, hosted by ESPN’s Rece Davis, can be seen live online and on ESPN3. Below is a timeline for the event, as well as a list of the 2011 NFF Hall of Famers and Scholar-Athletes.
NIUHuskies.com will have a complete report from Harnish, along with his personal video diary, of his trip to New York, later this week.
54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Timeline (All Times Eastern and Approximate)
6:45 p.m. – Grand March, Introductions, National Anthem and In Memoriam
7:30 p.m. – Dinner Break
8:10 p.m. – Introduction of the college coaches in attendance
8:18 p.m. – Chris Schenkel Award to Woody Durham
8:19 p.m. – Outstanding Football Official Award to Ted Ruta
8:20 p.m. – Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award to co-recipients Verne Lundquist and Brent Musburger
8:27 p.m. – The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments
8:58 p.m. – The 22nd William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth
9:03 p.m. – The NFF Legacy Award to Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters
9:05 p.m. – The Distinguished American Award to Dr. Archie Roberts
9:09 p.m. – The NFF Gold Medal to former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
9:15 p.m. – The 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Class
9:50 p.m. – Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony
9:55 p.m. – Closing Remarks and God Bless America
The 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class and Campbell Trophy Finalists – Drew Butler (Georgia), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Micah Davis (Delta State, Miss.), John Dowd (Navy), Yaser Elqutub (Northwestern State), Chris Ganious (South Dakota), Clay Garcia (Colorado School of Mines), Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois), Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State), Chaz Hine (South Florida), Joe Holland (Purdue), Jared Karstetter (Washington State), Andrew Rodriguez (Army), Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), Patrick Witt (Yale), Michael Zweifel (Dubuque, Iowa).
The 2011 College Football Hall of Famers: Carlos Alvarez (Florida), Doug English (Texas), Bill Enyart (Oregon State), Eddie George (Ohio State), Marty Lyons (Alabama), Russell Maryland (Miami), Deion Sanders (Florida State), Jake Scott (Georgia), Will Shields (Nebraska), the late Sandy Stephens (Minnesota), Darryl Talley (West Virginia), Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma), Rob Waldrop (Arizona), Gene Washington (Michigan State) and coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan) and Fisher DeBerry (Air Force)