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Dukes a finalist for the NFF Campbell Trophy

By Christopher Coombs

The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced Wednesday the inclusion of Lindsey Wilson College graduate student quarterback Cameron Dukes among the 13 finalists for the 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments. The honor is college football's premier scholar-athlete award that annually recognizes an individual as the best in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance, and exemplary leadership.

"We are extremely proud to announce the finalist for this year's Campbell Trophy," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy Recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives and they represent all that is right in college football. As strong leaders in the vein of the trophy's namesake Bill Campbell, they all serve as living examples that the future for football is bright. We are excited to honor their hard work and outstanding leadership with postgraduate scholarships."

Dukes and the 12 other finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2021 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class on December 7, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 32nd William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

A native of Shepherdsville, Ky., Dukes is the first Blue Raider to receive the honor of being named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. 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.

Dukes was selected from a list of 176 student-athletes that were named semifinalists for the award across all divisions of the NCAA and the NAIA earlier this season. He was just one of seven nominees from the NAIA and is the only finalist from an NAIA institution.

Sharing the distinction with Dukes is Montana State linebacker Troy Anderson, Stanford defensive end Thomas Booker, Western Michigan offensive lineman Mike Caliendo, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford, Oklahoma defensive back Patrick Fields, Wisconsin defensive end Matt Henningsen, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy linebacker Joshua King, Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar, Slippery Rick wide receiver Henry Litwin, West Virginia safety Sean Mahone, and Arkansas linebacker Grand Morgan.

Including this year's nominees, the NFF has honored 891 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards, and this year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $12.1 million.

Last season, Dukes threw for over 2,555 yards with 33 touchdowns. He added 10 rushing touchdowns to his tally while helping the Blue Raiders to the program's first NAIA National Championship, a Mid-South Conference divisional title, and an undefeated season.

This season, Dukes has helped lead the Blue Raiders to a 7-0 record, throwing for 1,073 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 153 rushing yards and four more scores. He ranks second on the program's all-time list in passing touchdowns (98), third in passing yards (9,073), and first in completion percentage (62.8 percent). As a starter, Dukes boasts a 35-4 record.

Off the field, Dukes is a three-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete and a four-time Academic All Mid-South Conference performer. Last season he headlined the CoSIDA NAIA Football Academic All-America list. At the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year, Dukes was named the Lindsey Wilson College Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Mid-South Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

He volunteers at a local elementary school, working with the youth as well as volunteering in the community. Dukes is a four-year member of the Football Leadership Council where he helps train high school quarterbacks in the Louisville, Ky., area and has assisted with a food drive and the Be the Match bone marrow registration drive. He is currently working on his Master of Business Administration

With an average GPA of 3.74, past recipients of the Campbell Trophy(R) include two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners, and seven first-round NFL Draft picks. Additionally, 20 of the 31 winners have made their mark in the NFL. If you hold the title Campbell Trophy(R) recipient, you are one of the following: a university president, a doctor, a lawyer, a worldwide leader in climatology research, a Ph.D. nuclear engineer executive, a partner in a highly successful real estate firm, a director with a non-profit foundation, high school football coach, television broadcaster or personality, insurance executive, corporate executive, assistant college football coach, philanthropist, humanitarian, U.S. Army captain, consulting analyst, financial advisor or Ph.D. candidate, and that does not include the five recipients still playing in the NFL.

2021 NFF Campbell Trophy(R) Finalists Highlights:
  • 3.77 Average GPA
  • One player with a perfect 4.00 GPA (Henningsen)
  • 13 captains, including 5 two-year captains (Andersen, Booker, Fields, Hutchinson, Morgan) and 2 three-year captains (Clifford, Dukes)
  • Eight players who have already graduated (Caliendo, Clifford, Dukes, Henningsen, Kolar, Litwin, Mahone, Morgan), including 2 with master's degrees (Mahone, Morgan)
  • Eight Academic All-America selections (Booker, Caliendo, Dukes, Fields, Henningsen, Kolar-2x, Litwin-2x, Mahone)
  • Twelve Academic All-Conference athletes (Andersen, Booker, Caliendo, Clifford, Dukes, Fields, Henningsen, Hutchinson, Kolar, Litwin, Mahone, Morgan)
  • Five All-America performers (Andersen, Dukes, Kolar, Litwin, Morgan)
  • Twelve All-Conference selections (Andersen, Booker, Caliendo, Clifford, Dukes, Fields, Henningsen, Hutchinson, Kolar, Litwin, Mahone, Morgan)
  • Three members of conference championship teams (Dukes-3x, Fields-3x, Litwin)
  • Two players who become their school's first NFF National Scholar-Athlete (Dukes, King)
  • Five school record holders (Andersen, Clifford, Dukes, Kolar, Litwin)
  • One member of a national championship team (NAIA - Dukes, 2020)
  • Three members of playoff teams (CFP - Fields-2x; FCS - Andersen; Division II - Litwin-2x; NAIA - Dukes-3x)
  • Seven members of ranked teams (Andersen, Clifford, Dukes, Fields, Hutchinson, Kolar, Litwin)
  • One son of a former NFF National Scholar-Athlete (Hutchinson - father Chris honored from Michigan in 1992)
  • Five Offensive Players (Caliendo, Clifford, Dukes, Kolar, Litwin)
  • Eight Defensive Players (Andersen, Booker, Fields, Henningsen, Hutchinson, King, Mahone, Morgan)

This story was posted on 2021-10-27 12:24:14
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