One of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, the Draddy Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
"The Draddy epitomizes everything right about college football," said NFF President Steven J. Hatchell. "By recognizing this group, we highlight the countless hours and demands that each college football player must balance as they pursue their dreams of a higher education and their passion for football. The NFF has both the privilege and responsibility to pay tribute to this exceptional group of role models, who truly embody the term student- athlete."
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who founded the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a stunning 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
With a 3.51 average GPA and majors such as biochemistry and zoology, the group includes 70 players who have earned all-conference recognition on the field and 94 captains. The offensive line produced the most nominees with 44. Defensive backs came in second with 24 candidates. Offense outscored the defense with 79 to 61 hopefuls. Eight special teams aspirants completed the contingent. Nominees hail from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, including a record 64 contenders from Division I- A.
The NFF Awards Committee, comprised of former coaches, Hall of Famers and college administrators, will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 26. The winner, also selected by the committee, will be announced at the 49th NFF Awards Dinner on December 5 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Each finalist will also be recognized that night as part of the 2006 National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.