IRVING, Texas – Vanderbilt’s four-year starting kicker Tommy Openshaw has been named as a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments®.
Openshaw, a first-year graduate student from Jacksonville, Fla., is among 181 distinguished student-athletes across the nation named by The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame.
The Campbell Trophy will be awarded Dec. 5 to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. 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. The finalists will travel to New York City in December for the organization’s 60th annual awards dinner.
The Campbell Trophy marks Openshaw’s second prestigious recognition in recent days. On Sept. 21, he was named to the Allstate-American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) national FBS Good Works Team. Additionally, Openshaw is under consideration for the Wuerffel Trophy.
Openshaw, a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, is working toward a master’s degree in Leadership and Organization Performance at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. A six-time dean’s list recipient, Openshaw graduated with honors last May, earning undergraduate degrees in Economics and Engineering Science from Vanderbilt.
On the field, Openshaw is coming off one of the finest seasons ever by a Commodore kicker. He hit 15 of 19 field goal attempts in 2016, including a pair of conversions beyond 50 yards. For his career, Openshaw is 35-of-51 on field goals and ranks sixth on the team’s career charts for field goal conversions. Openshaw’s 188 total points scored is fifth all-time among Commodore kickers.
Openshaw has played an active role in the Nashville area since arriving at Vanderbilt in 2013. He has assisted the homeless community at Nashville’s Room at the Inn, visited with ailing youngsters at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, and participated in several Catholic charity efforts aimed at local youth. Openshaw also has traveled to the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Costa Rica on mission efforts to help impoverished communities.
The Campbell Trophy® is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University. and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal. It includes a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship endowed by HealthSouth.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."
Each of the semifinalists were nominated by their schools, with candidates displaying GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor, and strong leadership and citizenship. 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.
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. In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity Investments launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. In 2014, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy®.
In 2016, the William V. Campbell Trophy® was awarded to Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell.