Dede In Running for National Award

Auburn, Ala.--Senior linebacker Karibi Dede has been named a semi-finalist for the Draddy Trophy, which is known as the "Academic Heisman" award.

Dede is one of 148 semi-finalists for the award which is given annually to a player who is the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.

A graduate student for the Tigers who picked up his undergraduate degree last spring in the College of Education and Rehab Services, he was named to the All-SEC Honor Roll in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and has been an Academic Top Tiger every semester since enrolling at Auburn in 2002.

He was honored as the 2005 top undergraduate student in the College of Education (teaching and special education program) and was Auburn's nominee for the SEC Good Works Team this year.

Karibi Dede

Dede has also been active in community service. He has volunteered to help with the Auburn city schools, Storybrook Farm and the Alabama Special Olympics. He has worked at the Oak Park Senior Citizens Community, participated in Auburn Toys for Tots, clothing drives and canned food drives as well as various other projects.

Dede is Auburn's leading tackler with 5.3 per game. He has 25 career starts for the Tigers.

The Draddy Award was named after former National Football Foundation Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a former Manhattan College quarterback, and comes with a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship in addition to a bronze trophy.

The NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of former coaches, Hall of Famers and college administrators, will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 26. The winner will be announced on Dec. 5 at the NFF Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Each finalist will also be recognized that night and will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.

The Draddy Trophy was first awarded in 1990. Past winners include Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996), and Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997) and Michael Munoz (2004) and LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005).

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