The William V. Campbell Trophy, formerly the Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, is a trophy awarded by the National Football Foundation that is given to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. It is considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman."
While many major college football awards are theoretically open to players at all competitive levels, in practice only players at NCAA Division I level win. The Campbell Trophy is unique in that it has actually been won by a player at a lower level—Brandon Roberts of Washington University in St. Louis, an NCAA Division III school, in 2002.
The trophy is renamed for William Campbell, a business executive and former player, captain and head coach of the Columbia University Lions. Previously named in honor of Vincent dePaul Draddy, who served the National Football Foundation (NFF) and its College Football Hall of Fame for thirty-three years, including nineteen years as the chairman of its board of directors, the trophy is now named after William V. Campbell. It has become the most prestigious and desirable "academic" award in college football. The trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
A scholar-athlete himself at Manhattan College, Draddy passionately believed in the premise that excellence on the football field could, and should, be consistent with academic distinction and the highest standards of civic leadership. He thought that young men who combined athletic performance with academic excellence should be recognized. After his death in July 1990, the NFF perpetuated his memory and beliefs by establishing a scholarship that would recognize the scholar-athlete who most fully embodies the ideals of the NFF.
The trophy is sponsored by HealthSouth Corporation, and as such is officially named "The William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth."
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