EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern senior center Brandon Vitabile (Edison, N.J./Bishop Ahr) has been honored with one of the elite distinctions in college football, receiving selection into the National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete Class of 2014, the organization announcedThursday. As one of 17 honorees from across the country and all levels of college football, Vitabile will be the recipient of an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and is recognized as a finalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments.
Vitabile is the second Wildcat in three years to earn the distinction and the fourth in program history. The Campbell Trophy, now in its 25th year, recognizes one individual as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation and will be presented to a member of the Scholar-Athlete class Dec. 9 in New York City.
The 17 members of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, who own an average grade point average of 3.69, were chosen from a nationwide pool of 169 semifinalists.
Vitabile has been a rock on the Northwestern offensive line during his tenure in Evanston, starting all 45 games of his career and serving as a two-year co-captain in 2013 and 2014. He was a Capital One Academic All-District honoree in 2013 and recorded a career GPA of 3.56, earning his undergraduate degree in economics with a minor in business institutions and a certificate in integrated marketing and communications.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell (the chairman of Intuit, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal), the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the banquet on Dec. 9, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $10.7 million.
2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class
Terry Baggett, RB, Army
Austin Damaschke, QB, Concordia (Wis.)
Austin Hasquet, LB, Northern Arizona
David Helton, LB, Duke
Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
Nate Leonard, OL, Texas-San Antonio
Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State
Mike Mancini, S, Trinity (Conn.)
Charles Moore, S, Tarleton State (Texas)
Mark Murphy, S, Indiana
Jordan Richards, S, Stanford
Kevin Rodgers, QB, Henderson State (Ark.)
Mike Sadler, P, Michigan State
Caleb Schaffitzel, S, Missouri State
Tyler Varga, RB, Yale
Brandon Vitabile, OL, Northwestern
Zach Zenner, RB, South Dakota State