Ficken Named Semifinalist for Campbell Trophy, the “Academic Heisman”

Penn State kicker Sam Ficken has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell trophy, colloquially considered the Academic Heisman.

The Campbell trophy “recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.”

167 college football student-athletes were named semifinalists for the award. The requirements entail senior class standing, a GPA of at least 3.2, as well as outstanding football and leadership abilities. Despite a career chronicled by ups and downs on the football field, the Indiana native has maintained a 3.59 cumulative grade point average while majoring in finance.

On the field, Ficken is having a career year. He’s hit 8/9 field goals, the lone miss a blocked kick at Rutgers, and has hit all 12 of his extra points. In the season opener against Central Florida in Ireland, Ficken hit four field goals, including a 36 yard game-winner as time expired.

Awarded by the National Football Foundation, the Campbell Award honors Bill Campbell, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal.

The 25-pound bronze trophy given to the winner comes with a $25,000 post-graduate grant. Former Penn State offensive guard, scholarly superstar, and current Baltimore Raven John Urschel won the award last season.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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