This story and photo originally appeared on Gallaudet University's athletic website.
IRVING, Texas - Gallaudet University senior offensive lineman Devaron Scott (Mocksville, N.C.) was selected as one the best and brightest from the college gridiron as announced by The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame. Scott is one of 181 semifinalists honored from the Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. Scott joins the company of other great players from top college programs such as Louisiana State University quarterback Danny Etling and University of Virginia All-America linebacker Micah Kiser.
Scott is a three-year letterwinner in football at Gallaudet, the world's only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. The Art and Media Design major has a double minor in photography and digital media is on track to graduate this May 2018. The lineman entered the 2017 season with eight starts under his belt in nine games played. He has dealt with injuries throughout his time at GU but that hasn't slowed him down on his academic success and community service he performs year in, year out. Scott is on track to earn Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) All-Academic team honors this fall.
"Devaron has been a trooper during his tenure here at Gallaudet for the past four years. He has had some bad luck with injuries but he continues to work hard during rehab and has gotten himself better for his senior season with the Bison this year," said Gallaudet head football coach Chuck Goldstein. "The coaching staff can count on Devaron to be a big contributor on the offensive line and his commitment to the program has been excellent."
Scott, who is hard of hearing, is one of 33 nominees selected from Division III, and he is the only honoree from the ECFC. Gallaudet is the only football program from the District of Columbia represented among the 181 candidates.
Gallaudet has had seven NFF National Scholar-Athlete semifinalists over the years including six in the past seven years. The first came in 1992 when Jeffrey Kurz was bestowed the great honor while the second came seven years ago when Caleb Hinton (2011) was recognized for his academic and athletic prowess followed by Denton Mallas (2012), Nicholas Elstad (2013), Nico Santiago (2014) and Sean Fenton (2016).
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
"These 181 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year's semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders."
Nominated by their schools' Sports Information Office, candidates for the awards 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 exceptional football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Only one nomination per school. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools on this tremendous honor," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, which show that football players can balance between academics and athletics at the highest level. There is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from among this esteemed group."
The past recipients of the William V. Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka(1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning(1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami (Fla.)'s Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)'s Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); California's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); Army West Point's Andrew Rodriguez (2011); Alabama's Barrett Jones (2012); Penn State's John Urschel (2013); Duke's David Helton (2014); and Oklahoma's Ty Darlington (2015).
About NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments, and it has recognized 828 outstanding individuals since its inception. The Campbell Trophy®, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's prestige, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
About the NFF & College Football Hall of Fame Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.
2017 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
- 181 Nominations
- 59th Year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program
- 3.59 Average GPA
- 60 Nominees with a 3.7 GPA or Better
- 114 Captains
- 76 All-Conference Picks
- 27 Academic All-America Selections
- 19 All-Americans
- 10 Members of the 2017 AFCA Good Works Team
- 71 Nominees from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
- 37 Nominees from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
- 30 Nominees from NCAA Division II
- 33 Nominees from NCAA Division III
- 10 Nominees from the NAIA
- 102 Offensive Players
- 67 Defensive Players
- 12 Special Teams Players
Gallaudet's NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Semifinalists