IRVING, Texas – Franklin & Marshall's senior defensive linemen Brendan Kilkenny was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. From the 179 semifinalists named, the NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on October 31, and each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.
Kilkenny (Ramsey, N.J. / Ramsey) is one of just 41 semifinalists from an NCAA Division III program and one of four from the Centennial Conference (CC), as Johns Hopkins' Anthony Davidson, Juniata's Joel Reighard and Moravian's Nick Zambelli were also honored.
Kilkenny was named to the 2017 All-CC Second Team after finishing the last year with 12 stops and 4.5 tackles for a loss, as well as recording a sack and a fumble. He helped anchor a defense that led the Conference in run defense and third-down defense. Off the field, he is involved in a variety of charitable endeavors, including Lauren's First & Goal, F&M TeamWork, and Little Dips Diaper Drive. Kilkenny also plays a major role in the Ramsey Challenger League and helps out at the Paterson Soup Kitchen.
The 2018 finalists will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 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 the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
"These 179 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. "For 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful 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 the late Bill Campbell, former 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 post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $11.5 million.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.