FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The heart and soul of the Razorback defense is a candidate for the Academic Heisman of college football.
Redshirt senior Grant Morgan was named one of 176 semifinalists for the 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday morning. The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
Morgan, a Campbell Trophy semifinalist for the second year in a row, was one of the best players in all of college football last year after producing one of the greatest seasons in Arkansas history. The Greenwood, Ark., product, named a Walter Camp and AFCA Second Team All-American at the year’s end, posted a team-best 111 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss, with 2.0 sacks in 2020. The linebacker finished tied for the nation’s lead in tackles per game (12.3) while intercepting one pass, breaking up five and registering one quarterback hurry.
A team captain for the second season in a row, Morgan has picked up right where he left off. Through four games in 2021, he is fourth on the Hogs in tackles (25) and third in tackles for loss (3.5) with 0.5 sacks and two pass breakups.
Morgan, who is one of only two Razorback defenders to garner both AP and Coaches All-SEC recognition in the last 10 seasons, began his career at Arkansas as a walk-on. Off the field, he earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science in 2019 before receiving his master’s degree in operations management in 2020.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 27, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2021 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The finalists will travel to the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas for the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 32nd Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Cross-posted from Arkansas Razorbacks Communications