KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 26 2019) – USMMA football senior wide receiver and return specialist Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's (NFF) William V. Campbell Trophy, the organization announced on Wednesday. Vitelli joins an impressive list of 185 semifinalists across all three divisions of NCAA Football as well as the NAIA.
The William V. Campbell Trophy is in its 30th year in 2019. The prestigious award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. Notable recipients of the Campbell Trophy, considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman," are Peyton Manning (Tennessee - 1997) and Tim Tebow (Florida - 2009).
For the complete release by the NFF, click here.
Vitelli, a 2019 team captain, has been a four-year starter for the Mariners and has made his mark as a leader for the program both on the field and in the classroom. He was a 2016 All-Liberty League Honorable Mention as a return specialist; a 2017 All-NEWMAC First Team wide receiver; a 2018 All-NEWMAC First Team return specialist; a two-time NEWMAC Special Teams Player of the Week and one-time NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week, as well as a one-time Liberty League Rookie of the Week.
The Maritime Logistics & Security major's academic accolades include being a Gold Star recipient (3.50 Term GPA) for first, second and third trimester 2016-17; first and third trimester 2017-18 and first trimester 2018-19; as well as being selected to the 2017 and 2018 NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Teams and to the 2018 CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Team.
Since arriving at Kings Point, Vitelli has helped lead the Mariners to three-straight winning seasons – a combined record of 20-11 – and back-to-back Bowl Championships in the ECAC Campbell Bowl in 2017 and the New England Bowl in 2018.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 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 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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