Navy linebacker Keegan Wetzel, Virginia Tech fullback Joey Phillips, and Gallaudet defensive back Denton Mallas are among the 147 football players nominated for the National Football Foundation scholar-athlete awards and are semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the top scholar-athlete in the nation.
Nominees who played locally in high school are West Virginia guard Jeff Braun (Winters Mill), Bucknell defensive end Sam Oyekoya (Gonzaga), Hampden-Sydney linebacker Alex Price (Fairfax), Frostburg wideout Anthony Young (Northwestern), Union (N.Y.) linebacker Noah Joseph (B-CC), and Bethany (W.Va.) wide receiver Johnathan Foster (Fort Hill).
Familiar names on the list include Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, and Baylor quarterback Nick Florence. Another nominee is Joel Woodhead of Peru State (Neb.), younger brother of New England Patriots back Danny Woodhead.
Last year Bishop Ireton graduate Andrew Rodriguez (Army) won the Campbell award.