Steve Hatchell,
President & CEO

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NFF Chalktalk - Dec. 19, 2016
ESPN3 is providing fans access to replays of the historic 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner and Annual Awards Press Conference, which took place on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Fans may also access a digital version of the 216-page Dinner program, created by IMG College, which includes profiles on all of the night's honorees.

Click here   to watch the 59th   NFF Annual Awards Dinner on ESPN3.

Click here   to watch the NFF Annual Awards Press Conference on ESPN3.

Click here   to view a digital version of the 59th   NFF Annual Awards Dinner program.

Both Ivan Maisel of and Kevin Armstrong of The New York Daily News wrote extensive pieces about the event and its historic 58-year run at the Waldorf Astoria. The iconic hotel will be shuttered at the end of February for a three-year renovation, forcing the fabled NFF year-end celebration to move after nearly six decades to the New York Midtown Hilton.
The NFF salutes the members of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, that will wrap up their successful careers in an NCAA postseason game. Five of the 12 members have guided their teams to an FBS bowl game.
The NFF will announce the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class on Jan. 9 in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla. Click here to see the complete 2017 ballot, which includes 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Now through Jan. 1, Deck the Hall : Celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. The Hall  will be decked out with holiday décor, yummy treats and special giveaways!  Daily activities include unique photo opportunities, ornament crafts and special appearances by Fumbles the Elf. Santa will be visiting the Hall on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plenty of college themed props will be available for photos . Also, please stop by the Hall's Giving Tree, where we are blankets and twin sheet sets are being collected for City of Refuge. Donations earn 20% off Hall admission. All the festivities are included in regular admission . Click here for ticket information.

Dec. 30, NFF Salute to the 2016 Class : Welcome the newest members of the Hall as they take their place among the greatest of the great. Their glass blade will be unveiled at the Hall of Fame in a private ceremony while each member of the 2016 class will be presented with their commemorative blade in a public ceremony on the field at the Hall.

Dec. 31, The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and College Football Playoff Semifinal Viewing Party, presented by Dos Equis : Watch the four best in the land go head-to-head in their quest for the CFP National Championship.  Tailgate and watch the PlayStation Fiesta  Bowl & Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl semifinal games f rom 9:00 a.m. through the games' exciting finales. Games, music, Dos Equis' most  interesting foods, and much more will be available. Tickets are $30, plus your first drink free and access to tour  the Hall!  Click here for tickets to semifinal viewing party.
Jan. 9, The 2016 CFP National Championship Viewing Party, presented by Dos Equis : Can't be at the big game... We are the next best thing. We have a shrine to all that is amazing about college football and a really big TV in our living room!  Come watch with us! The fun starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until the victor claims the CFP national title. Click here for  tickets to the CFP National Championship viewing party .

About the College Football Hall of Fame: The Hall opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta's sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit .
Check out, the NFF's home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football. Recent headlines on the site include:
Quote of the Week
The Blitz
NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) and 1997 Campbell Trophy winner Peyton Manning (Tennessee)  will keynote  the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show closing general session Jan. 9 in Phoenix.

The Consumer Technology Association revealed that NFF Board Member and Under Armour founder & CEO Kevin Plank   will deliver  a keynote at CES 2017 on Jan. 6 that will focus on how technology is shaping athletic performance and lifestyle now and in the years to come.

College Football Hall of Famer Bobby Bell (Minnesota) and Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro   will be inducted  into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Jan. 1. Former Southern California running back Ricky Ervins and award-winning sports writer Art Spander are also in the class.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer  will receive   the Tom Osborne Legacy Award during the Outland Trophy presentation banquet Jan. 11 in Omaha, Neb.

College Football Hall of Fame coach and current Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez has been  named  the 2017 Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. He will receive the American Heart Association's award on Jan. 11 in Houston. Alvarez recently reflected on his run as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee after fulfilling his three-year commitment.

College Football Hall of Famers Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma) and Billy Sims (Oklahoma)   will be honored  as part of AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl's 2016 Class of Gridiron Legends during the game on Dec. 28. Also in the class are former Texas running back Eric Metcalf and CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz.

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) will host the live television debut of the American Football Coaches Awards show Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network.

2013 NFF Legacy Award recipient Nate Boyer, a U.S. Army Green Beret and former Texas Longhorns long snapper,  will be  the keynote speaker for the 2016 annual Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Luncheon Dec. 22.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Updates

2016 Campbell Trophy winner  Zach Terrell  was named a MAC Football Distinguished Scholar Athlete for the third consecutive season. Terrell and Western Michigan will take on Wisconsin in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 2. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. He also accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Linebacker Brooks Ellis and the Arkansas Razorbacks will take on Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29. The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. He also accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Saint John's (Minn.) linebacker Carter Hanson was  named the 2016 recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy as the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III. He was also named to the 2016 AP Little All-America First Team after leading the Johnnies to a No. 11 ranking in the final AFCA Division III poll.

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill earned Second Team All-Independent honors from Phil Steele. Due to an injury, he will miss the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 against Wyoming. The game will kick off at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Safety Ryan Janvion and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons will face Temple in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman on Dec. 27. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones was named a Second Team All-American by the AFCA. He  has accepted an invitation to play in the  2017 Reese's Senior Bowl, which will kick off Jan. 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET in Mobile, Ala., and air on the NFL Network.

Quarterback Cooper Rush was named a MAC Football Distinguished Scholar Athlete for the third consecutive season. Rush and the Central Michigan Chippewas played Tulsa in the Miami Beach Bowl this afternoon on ESPN. He also accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Northern Iowa defensive lineman Karter Schult, a movement and exercise science major, graduated on Saturday. He was also named a First Team All-American by AFCA, AP and Walter Camp. Schult is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best defensive player in the FCS, which will be announced during the 2016 STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. He has also  accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today's honoree is Old Dominion offensive lineman Tyler Compton, who graduated in only 2.5 years with a 3.92 GPA in mathematics.

Each week during the season, the NFF produces a comprehensive television schedule for all Division I games complete with date, time, teams and on-air talent listings. Email to receive the weekly schedule.
Over The Middle
The NFF Valley of the Sun (Ariz.) Chapter held its 24th Annual Awards Luncheon on Dec. 16 at the Hilton-Scottsdale Resort. The chapter paid tribute to this year's state championship coaches and recognized several of Arizona's top senior players with Legends Namesake Awards.

The NFF Southern Arizona Chapter raised more than $13,000 for scholarships at its annual golf tournament earlier this month.

North Carolina at Pembroke senior place-kicker Matt Davis was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Fred Mitchell Award, which is presented to the nation's top place-kicker in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA or NJCAA for excellence on the football field and in the community. He will be honored at Halas Hall on Feb. 20 at the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter's annual Awards Ceremony. 
Two-Minute Drill
College Football Playoff

Fans can start making plans to be a part of the 2017 CFP National Championship in Tampa, Fla., which will take place Jan. 9. Playoff Premium is offering different packages at various price ranges and seating locations.  Click here for more information...

Divisional Champions

Northwest Missouri State won the Division II national championship, its sixth NCAA title... Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) won the Division III national championship to earn its first national title... Saint Francis (Ind.) won the NAIA national championship...


The Big 12 released its 2017 football schedule... TCU and North Carolina agreed to a home-and-home series in 2025 and 2026... Wyoming and New Mexico agreed to a home-and-home series in 2018 and 2024...


Temple hired Geoff Collins as head coach... Western Kentucky named Mike Sanford head coach... Delaware selected Danny Rocco as its head coach... Abilene Christian named Adam Dorrel head coach... Richmond named Russ Huesman as head coach... Chattanooga hired Tom Arth as its head coach... Missouri Western State named Matt Williamson as its head coach... Anna Maria (Mass.) named Dan Mulrooney as head coach... Culver-Stockton (Mo.) hired Tom Sallay as its new head coach... Newberry  (S.C.) named Ralph Patterson as director of athletics... Florida State announced a contract extension for head coach Jimbo Fisher through 2024...

Awards & Honors

AFCA released its FBS and FCS All-America teams... AP named its FCS and  Little All-America teams... Walter Camp released its FCS All-America Team... Pittsburgh running back James Conner was named the recipient of the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award... Colorado's Mike MacIntyre was named the FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and the AP Coach of the Year...


The FCS playoff game between North Dakota State and South Dakota State on Dec. 10  drew over 1.98 million viewers to the ESPN broadcast - an FCS record for television viewership...


East Carolina received a $1-million leadership gift from The Harold H. Bate Foundation towards the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Southside Renovation Campaign... West Florida alumnus Darrell Gooden has gifted $100,000 to the UWF football program...


The south end zone facility project continues to take shape at Missouri...


San Diego State running back  Donnel Pumphrey has broken the FBS career rushing record, finishing his standout career with 6,405 yards. He surpassed the mark set by College Football Hall of Famer Ron Dayne (Wisconsin) early in the fourth quarter of the Aztecs' 34-10 win over Houston during the Las Vegas Bowl...

Community Service

All 20,000 complimentary armed forces tickets have been distributed for the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl...


Former Nebraska football player Todd Carpenter passed away Dec. 11. He was 52... Former Bowling Green football player  Bob Schnelker passed away Dec. 12. He was 88... Former Stanford tight end  Konrad Reuland died Dec. 12. He was 29... Former Washington football player Chuck Allen passed away Dec. 15. He was 77... Former Kent State football player  Luke Owens passed away. He was 83...
Support The NFF
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Each year, the NFF invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media.

Missouri joined this week as an Executive Member.  Click here to see all of the 2016 NFF Institutional Academic Members.
2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Eli Manning (Mississippi), a member of the Alumni Association.
2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association 

Since 1959, the National Football Foundation has annually recognized the best and brightest college players, presenting them with prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments. The $18,000 postgraduate scholarships are presented at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City. 

Launched in 2008, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF's present efforts. 

Click here to see all of the members of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.
NFF Key Dates
Dec. 31, 2016 - The 12 th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Atlanta
Jan. 5, 2017 - NFF Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner of Tod Leiweke - Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 9, 2017 - Announcement of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class - Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 9, 2017 - College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.
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