Rockland, Massachusetts, senior All-American is a semifinalist for William V. Campbell Trophy
EASTON, Mass. (October 9, 2014) The Stonehill College football program has placed one of its top student-athletes among the semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments, as the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced its 2014 National Scholar-Athlete Awards candidates.
Senior All-American linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Massachusetts/Rockland) is among the 167 semifinalists across all levels of college football which have an average cumulative grade point average of 3.65, of which he is one of 86 All-Conference performers on the list, 19 All-Americans, 25 nominees from NCAA Division II, eight from Super Region 1 and four from the Northeast-10 Conference. Harrington, named a preseason All-American by Lindy's Sports and the Beyond Sports Network, has earned a 3.30 cumulative grade point average as a criminology major at Stonehill.
It marks the second straight year Stonehill has had a Campbell Trophy and NFF Scholar-Athlete Award semifinalist after Harrington's former teammate James Lanier, '14, was selected last season. Harrington, who was also nominated for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Allstate Good Works Team this summer, leads the Skyhawks with 48 tackles (4th NE-10), including 16 solo, with 4.5 tackles for a loss of 16 yards, 2.0 sacks for a loss of 12, and an interception through the midway point of the 2014 season. He has posted double-figure tackle totals in four of Stonehill's five games, including a season-high 12 stops (five solo) against the University of New Haven on Saturday, with ten or more in 14 of the Skyhawks 16 games over the last two seasons.
Harrington, a Don Hansen Second Team All-American and finalist for the inaugural Cliff Harris Award who earned the Joseph P. Zabilski Defensive Player of the Year award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston following a breakout 2013 season in which he also collected honorable mention All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network and was named to both the Don Hansen and Daktronics All-Super Region 1 first teams. He earned New England Football Writers College Division All-New England and first team All-Northeast-10 Conference honors and was named D2Football.com's Defensive Player of the Year for the NE-10.
Harrington led the Northeast-10 with a league and program record 151 tackles, which ranked fourth nationally and is the 11th-highest single-season total in Division II history, in 2013. He also led the NE-10 with his 73 solo tackles (6th nationally) and 78 tackle assists to go with 7.0 tackles for a loss of 30 yards, including 2.5 sacks for a loss of 16, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup. Harrington earned a starting role on the defensive unit after gaining experience as a member of the Stonehill special teams units as a freshman and sophomore, being named the Skyhawks Special Teams Player of the Year by the coaching staff in 2012. He has played 36 games over his career, starting 16 straight games, and has posted 224 career tackles (103 solo), entering this weekend's game at LIU Post just 17 tackles shy of cracking the program's career top ten list, to go with 11.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, interception and pass breakup.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of 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.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 30. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2014 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 9 during the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with 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. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.7 million.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The William V. Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
Stonehill (2-3, 2-2 NE-10) is on the road for back to back trips to New York, starting this Saturday, October 12, at LIU Post at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, October 25, to host Southern Connecticut State University as part of Hall of Fame Weekend at the College at 1 p.m.
With 20 intercollegiate sports, Stonehill boasts one of the top athletic and academic programs in the country. The Skyhawks have finished in the top three in the final NE-10 Presidents' Cup standings ten straight years, including a second place finish in 2013-14, winning the Cup four times, including a streak of three-straight from 2009-10 through 2011-12. This prestigious award is given to the top performing athletic school in the Northeast-10, across all sports and seasons. Stonehill has received the NCAA Division II Presidents' Award for Academic Achievement each of the first three years of the program's existence of honoring programs with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90-percent or better. The Skyhawks have earned a 97% Academic Success Ranking (ASR) by the NCAA, which considers the academic success rate of the institution based on the graduation rate of student-athletes, good for fifth among all NCAA Division II institutions, with ten Skyhawk teams receiving a perfect rating of 100%. In addition, the Skyhawks are ranked sixth in the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Power Rankings used to assess the academic and athletic standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs. Stonehill has also been the host site for the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championships at W.B. Mason Stadium.