Northern Illinois senior Nabal Jefferson has been named a semifinalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy and is one of 147 candidates across all levels of college football for the 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF & College Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
Jefferson, a defensive tackle from Chicago, is one of 50 Football Bowl Subdivision candidates for the awards, and is one of six players nominated from a Mid-American Conference school.
Each university can nominate just one senior for the awards, which honor college football student-athletes who excel on the field and in the classroom.
Criteria include a 3.2 undergraduate grade point average, outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and a strong record of leadership and citizenship.
“We are extremely proud to have Nabal named as a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards,” said NIU head coach Dave Doeren. “As a player, as a person and as a student, he has done everything and more, that has been asked of him. He is a great representative of not only NIU football, but of Northern Illinois University, the business school and his community. Any coach, at any university in the country, would be lucky to have a person like Nabal Jefferson representing his program.”
Jefferson is a two-year starter on the NIU defensive line who has played in 43 games (all but two) during his Huskie career, beginning as a true freshman in 2009.
A mainstay on the interior defensive line, where one of his primary roles is to occupy offensive linemen, Jefferson has made 110 career tackles, 16 for loss, and has totaled 24 tackles in 2012 for the 3-1 Huskies. He has been a member of the Northern Illinois Football Leadership Council in each of the last three seasons.
A product of Marist High School in Chicago, Jefferson carries a 3.78 GPA in accountancy.
He is a two-time Academic All-MAC honoree and was a member of the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District VI first team in 2011. Jefferson completed an internship in Chicago with KPMG this summer. His commitment to service, especially in his home neighborhood in Chicago, has made him a role model to the community youth.
Last year, NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish was named one of the 16 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award winners, was honored at the NFF Awards Banquet in New York City in December, and received an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Harnish was the third Northern Illinois player to win one of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, following in the footsteps of quarterback Josh Haldi (2004) and safety Patrick Stephen (1998).
This year’s NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award finalists will be announced Thursday, Oct. 25, and those finalists will vie for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy.
The Campbell Trophy comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and that winner receiver a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. The NFF scholar-athlete program was the first award of its kind to award scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments.
For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.