It’s not uncommon for modern college football players to be referred to as athletes, that student-athlete designation being tossed to the wayside.
Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Sean Clifford is one of the student-athletes in college football that has been able to combine excellence on the field and into the classroom into being named as one of the 13 finalists for the 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy.
The Campbell Trophy is awarded to the individual that best combines academic success, football leadership and exemplary leadership.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) October 27, 2021
The 13 finalists were narrowed down from a field of 176 semifinalists across the Division I, II, III and NAIA levels. All candidates were submitted by their respective schools, with the criteria for nomination being that a candidate must be a senior or grad student in their final season of eligibility, have at least a 3.2 GPA, play as a first teamer or significant contributor while showcasing excellent ability and demonstrate strong leadership.
Clifford has led the Nittany Lions to a 5-2 record this season, throwing for 1,647 yards and 12 touchdowns on 137-of-212 passing attempts. He’s also managed a 3.45 GPA in graduating with a degree in public relations and is pursuing a graduate degree in journalism.
A three year captain at Penn State, Clifford has thrown for 6,379 yards and 53 touchdowns on 483-of-789 passing attempts — 61.2 percent completion at 8.1 yards per attempt. He’s also rushed for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns on 269 attempts on the ground.
As a finalist for the top student-athlete honor in college football, Clifford will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2021 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. The scholarship will jump to $25,000 if he’s named the winner of the prestigious award at the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 7 at the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas.
The other finalists are Montana State’s Troy Anderson, Stanford’s Mike Caliendo, Lindsey Wilson’s Cameron Dukes, Oklahoma’s Patrick Fields, Wisconsin’s Matt Henningsen, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Joshua King, Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar, Slippery Rock’s Henry Litwin, West Virginia’s Sean Mahone and Arkansas’s Grant Morgan.
Clifford is Penn State’s 19th Campbell Trophy finalists. Trace McSorely was the most recent Lions’ finalist in 2018, and John Urschel won the award in 2013.