IRVING, Texas — Graduate senior defensive back Marcus Ward has been named a
semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, it was announced Wednesday
morning. Ward is one of 181 student-athletes across all levels of college football
to be honored by The National Football Foundation, including one of 71 from FBS
It is the second consecutive season in which Ward has been named a semifinalist for
the award. He has also been an AFCA Good Works Team watch lister in both 2016 and
2017. A leader for WKU on and off the field, Ward graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in Accounting in 2016, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the same field
In August, the Birmingham, Alabama, native attended the Campbell Trophy Summit in
Stanford, California. The three-day event gathered individuals committed to
practicing authentic leadership, sharing powerful concepts and exchanging ideas to
foster personal growth and empowerment. Featured guests included Campbell Trophy
participants plus distinguished entrepreneurs, CEO’s and friends who benefited from
Bill Campbell’s passion and purpose.
So far in 2017, Ward has contributed in the secondary and on special teams, making a
season-high three solo tackles in the Hilltoppers’ 33-21 victory over Ball State on
Saturday. Notably, the WKU kick coverage team has allowed an average return of 20.2
yards on 11 attempts, with no opponent taking one back more than 26 yards.
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 Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an
$18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete
Class. The finalists will travel to New York for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner
on Dec. 5, 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 28th William V. Campbell Trophy and have
his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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