March 6, 2012
Seated, front row: Chris Marve, Clayton Samuel (dad) and Robin Samuel (mom). Standing, from left, Vanderbilt student Jeremy Williams, sisters Cara and Camryn Samuel, Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and football sports information director Larry Leathers. (Photo by Mike Strasinger)
NASHVILLE - Former Vanderbilt linebacker Chris Marve, a two-year defensive captain and three-time All-Southeastern Conference recipient, was honored as the region's top collegiate scholar-athlete by the National Football Foundation's Middle Tennessee chapter Monday.
Marve, a native of Memphis who finished his Vanderbilt career among the team's all-time Top Ten tacklers, accepted the NFF's C.R. Bickerstaff/Coach Bill Pace University Scholar Athlete Award in front of a capacity crowd of more than 700 guests at the Marriott Airport.
|Chris Marve accepting National Football Foundation's C.R. Bickerstaff/Coach Bill Pace Student-Athlete Award from Andy Bickerstaff. (Photo: Mike Strasinger)|
The local NFF chapter also honored former Vanderbilt Head Coach Fred Pancoast with the Fred Russell Distinguished American Award. Two former Vanderbilt players who serve as NFF board members, Walter Overton and Norman Jordan, presented the award to Pancoast.
Top seniors representing more than 50 high schools across Middle Tennessee also were recognized as Charles Hawkins III Scholar Athletes. Among the prep recipients was recent Vanderbilt defensive line signee Caleb Azubike of McGavock High School.
After starting 49 games in a four-year Commodore career, Marve recently decided to forego a chance to play in the National Football League. Instead, he plans to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and pursue a law career.
"Chris epitomizes everything Vanderbilt football and this university stands for. On the field, he was one of our top defensive performers and a two-year captain who commanded the respect of his teammates and our opponents. Off the football field, he was equally impressive, believing wholeheartedly in the true meaning of being a student-athlete," Commodore Head Coach James Franklin said of Marve.
In addition to amassing 397 tackles during his career, Marve received consideration for several prestigious awards, including the Nagurski and Butkus awards. He was also a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy given annually to the nation's top scholar athlete.
Off the field, Marve served as a summer tour guide at Vanderbilt's admissions department. He was an officer of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and was a member of the Vanderbilt Multicultural Leadership Council and National Black Law School Association. Last summer, he served as a coordinator of the Nashville Kids' Triathlon. He has contributed to local Habitat for Humanity efforts and mentored children at Vanderbilt's Susan Gray School.