Portions of the release courtesy of the National Football Foundation.
IRVING, Texas (Sept. 27, 2018) - Recognizing one of the most impressive groups of scholar-athletes in the history of college football, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) proudly announced Colorado State University-Pueblo senior Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) as one of the 179 semifinalists for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy®. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Fidelity Investments is a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®.
Payer was honored not only based on his athletic and academic successes, but his community involvement. Last season he was named an All-American, was recognized as an academic all-district selection and participated in community service in Pueblo. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year currently leads the league and ranks No. 14 nationally in tackles.
Payer owns a 3.56 GPA in accounting with a minor in computer information systems.
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.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 31, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The 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. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. 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.
PAYER 2017 BIO
AFCA All-America First Team ... D2Football.com All-America Second Team ... D2CCA All-Region First Team ... All-RMAC First Team ... All-NFFCC First Team ... Cliff Harris Award Finalist ... Started all 12 games at inside linebacker and finished the season with 110 tackles with 71 solo ... Was 2nd in the RMAC in both tackles and solo tackles ... Ranks 22nd nationally in solo tackles ... The 71 solo tackles is a new modern era program record ... Led the RMAC with 14.0 tackles for loss (-50 yards) and added 4.5 sacks to tie for 5th ... Forced three fumbles (T-3rd in RMAC, T-58th nationally) with one recovery ... Compiled six games with double-digit tackle totals with a season high 14 at West Texas A&M (Sept. 9) ... The ThunderWolves defense finished the regular season 10th nationally in both total defense (273.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and 11th in turnovers gained (27) ... Academic All-District and Academic All-RMAC First Team.
ABOUT THE NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS PROGRAM
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program is celebrating its 60th year in 2018. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and the NFF has recognized 841 outstanding individuals since their inception. The Campbell Trophy®, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's prestige, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks. Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of workplace savings plans in higher education, serves as a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy® and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Since 2013, the Campbell Trophy® has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes, which recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with a Campbell Trophy® finalist/NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF presents each of the faculty representatives with a plaque, and Fidelity donates $5,000 for the academic support services at each school with a total of $505,000 distributed from 2011-17.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.