Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NFF Chalktalk

News and Notes From Around College Football for Oct. 6, 2008

NFF Announces 2008 Draddy Trophy Semifinalists

Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame denoted 164 semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and the candidates for the 2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.

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 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 25- pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.

The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2008 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 9 at the prestigious Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.

Notable NFF National Scholar-Athlete alumni include NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker (Oregon State), Gary Beban (UCLA); Doug Flutie (Boston College), and Danny Wuerffel (Florida).

For a complete list of the semifinalists, please visit www.footballfoundation.com.

NFF News

2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Coach Lou Holtz will guide former Notre Dame student-athletes in the July 25, 2009, Japan Bowl against a Japanese national all- star team. The legends' squad will host a two-day mini-camp in South Bend, Ind., and will appear at several functions in the Tokyo area from July 19-26 as part of the Japan American Football Association's 75th anniversary festivities.

Stanford and Purdue are the latest college football teams to visit the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend in recent weeks, and both have held alumni functions at the facility.

Liberty Mutual has proudly partnered with the College Football Hall of Fame to honor one coach from each division who demonstrates excellence on and off the field through victories, community service, charitable endeavors and academic support. Visit www.coachoftheyear.com now to find out how to vote for your favorite coach.

To become a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, please contact NFF Director of Special Projects Hillary Jeffries at 800-486-1865 or via email at hjeffries@footballfoundation.com.

Two-Minute Drill

Missouri downed Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since 1978... Vanderbilt is 5-0 for the first time since 1943... Southern California seeks its 400th victory at Los Angeles Coliseum against Arizona State Saturday... Brigham Young won its NCAA-best 15th consecutive game last Friday against Utah State... Western Michigan captured its 500th victory by downing Ohio last Saturday... Kansas is on pace to set a single-season attendance record for the fourth consecutive year... Oklahoma is only 10 points away from becoming the first college football team to score 30,000 points all-time... Graham Harrell became Texas Tech's all-time leading passer last Saturday... Seven college bands are competing in ESPN's "Battle of the Bands" promotion to commemorate the DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" with the winning school taking a $25,000 prize. Voting will be done online, and the participating bands are from Southern California, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Clemson, LSU and Auburn... The "2008 SEC Together We CAN Drive" raised more than 150,000 pounds of food for local charities and food banks... East Carolina's Board of Trustees officially extended head coach Skip Holtz's contract through 2013 with a new compensation and incentive plan... College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles will headline the 13th Annual Hendrix College (Ark.) Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bob Courtway Memorial Breakfast on Oct. 14.

Doreen and Jerry Hammes have made a donation to Notre Dame Athletics for facilities revamping and enhancement... California has broken ground on a new athletics and office support facility.

New Georgia State head football coach, standout center at Georgia Tech and television commentator Bill Curry has been named as winner of the 2008 President Gerald R. Ford Legends Award... West Virginia honored its 1988 Fiesta Bowl team, the only Mountaineer team to play for a national championship, at its game against Rutgers last Saturday... Princeton will honor two of its most famous athletes - 1951 Heisman Trophy winner and NFF Hall of Famer Dick Kazmaier and All-America hoopster and former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley - by retiring their numbers in ceremonies on Oct. 24-25 around the Princeton-Harvard weekend in Princeton, N.J... The 17th annual 2008 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team features top student-athletes who have demonstrated off-field leadership and community service... The Atlantic Coast Conference's 2008 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game Legends include memorable standouts Claude "Tee" Moorman II of Duke, Maryland's Stan Jones, Miami (Fla.) standout DT Russell Maryland, Virginia RB Tiki Barber, Florida State QB Danny Kanell, North Carolina DT Marcus Jones, Georgia Tech LB Pat Swilling, Clemson LB Levon Kirkland, Boston College LB Steve DeOssie, NC State guard Bill Yoest, Virginia Tech QB Don Strock, and Wake Forest TE John Henry Mills. The legends will be honored at '08 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship in Tampa, Fla... TCU celebrated its 40th annual Frog Club Hall of Fame Class with additions of football standouts W.C. Nix, Dr. John Richards and the remaining members of the 1938 TCU national championship squad not already admitted to the school's Hall of Fame. Six members of the '38 squad attended the celebration.

The AT&T Cotton Bowl has a record pre-2009 public sale of 60,000-plus in the renovated 90,000- seat Cotton Bowl Stadium... Scott McCune has been named chairman of the Chick-fil-A Bowl... John Sudsbury to become director of communications and media relations at the Allstate Sugar Bowl... Tulsa's Wilson Holloway is the latest nominee for the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award.

FSN Southwest will replay 22 classic Big 12 games from 1998-2007 over the next eight weeks and will culminate the series with Bedlam Series games between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on Thanksgiving, Nov. 27... Jacked, Inc. and the Big Ten Network are seeing increased viewing numbers for Big Ten Conference football contests via a video stream collaboration by the two groups... The Mtn. has launched in South Central Communication Cable affiliates.

The Sun Belt Conference is teaming with the Leffler Agency for a marketing and promotions campaign... Under Armour Inc. signed South Florida to a uniform deal for the next five years.

Tennessee had its first live streaming of a game on UTSports.com against Northern Illinois to statewide residents without cable or satellite capabilities... Clemson's new iTiger project blends the expertise of athletics and the university's School of Computing in the College of Engineering and Science for a new game experience through texting and other in-stadium communication methods.

Former Southern California QB great, assistant coach and radio analyst Craig Fertig, 66, died of cancer last Saturday in Newport Beach, Calif.... John Godfrey, 87, head coach at Whittier (Calif.) from 1960-79, died last week in Tualatin, Ore.... Larry Birleffi, 90, former voice of the Wyoming Cowboys, passed away on Sept. 27.