Steve Hatchell,
President & CEO

Media Contacts:
Phil Marwill | 917-579-4256

Alan Cox | 972-556-1000
NFF Chalktalk - Feb. 21, 2017
Capitalizing on the phenomenal success of the NFF High School Showcases in Los Angeles and Houston, the NFF has attracted support for two additional events this year in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., and all four events are taking place between Feb. 11 and March 4. Organizers estimate that participants will collectively receive between $8-10 million in academic and participation scholarships for their freshman year.
 
The NFF High School Showcases, which are absolutely free to both participants and college recruiters, provide academically eligible high school players who did not sign an NCAA Division I letter of intent  an opportunity to go through a series of drills in front of divisional college coaches from the NCAA Division II, III and the NAIA levels. Last year, the events attracted representatives from 110 colleges covering 30 states, coupling them with more than 1,000 aspiring college players who earned millions of dollars in academic and participation scholarships.

Last Week:  The Ninth Annual Greater Houston Senior Football Showcase , founded by Phil Camp, the former head football coach Milby High School in Houston, Coby Rhoden, an academic coordinator at Houston Heights High School, Chris Vaughan, a member of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and Daryl Wade, the former athletics director for the Houston Independent School District, will take place Feb. 18 at the Houston Sports Park in Houston, Texas.

This Week - Feb. 25The Inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, led by the Orange Bowl Committee and its newly installed president Don Slesnick, immediate past president, Judge Michael B. Chavies, CEO Eric Poms, and NFF Board Member and Orange Bowl past president Bob Epling, will take place Feb. 25 at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Spanning more than 5,000 high schools and 500,000 student-athletes, the NFF announced that the NFF Chapter Network will distribute more than $1 million in scholarships during its 2017 banquet season, selecting 3,500 student-athletes for recognition as the best and the brightest for their combined achievements on the gridiron, in the classroom and as leaders in the community.

Each year the chapters combine to stage more than 300 events, including all-star games, coaching clinics, signing day events, college nights, leadership conferences and more than 85 scholarship banquets. Dozens of big names across the world of college football are expected to support their respective local chapters. Click here for a schedule of this year's NFF Chapter events and a list of prominent people expected to attend.
The NFF will host a Black History roundtable at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Feb. 22. The panel, part of the "Breaking Barriers: A Salute to Black History in College Football, Delivered by UPS" celebration at the Hall, will feature three Hall of Famers who played important roles during the integration of college football: Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame); Gene Washington (Michigan State); and John Wooten (Colorado). Don McPhersonone of five African-American College Football Hall of Fame inductees from Syracuse, will emcee the event, conducting the 90-minute discussion.

As part of the month-long celebration of Black History, the Hall opened an exhibit on Feb. 1 to the public called "Breaking Barriers," which chronicles the game-changing individuals, stories and the moments that paved the way. Additionally, the Hall is donating $1 from every full-price admission sold during the week of Feb. 20 to the United Negro College Fund.
Now Accepting 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society Nominations
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz was a member of the 2016 NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
The NFF is now accepting nominations for the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. Celebrating its 11th year, the Hampshire Honor Society is a great way to recognize colleges' best scholar-athletes who have shown passion on the football field and in the classroom.

To qualify for membership in the Society, a football student-athlete must have just completed his final year of playing eligibility or has already graduated and officially declared for the NFL Draft; been a starter or significant contributor; achieved a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA throughout the entire course of undergraduate study through the fall semester of 2016; and is meeting all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

Sports information directors have until March 3 to submit nominations. 

For more information or to nominate a student-athlete, contact Hillary Jeffries at hjeffries@footballfoundation.com 
The Hall Unveils a New D igital Marquee: On Feb. 16, a new digital marquee that will countdown until the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 8, 2018, was unveiled at the College Football Hall of Fame. The Hall's new digital marquee is the largest installation of its kind in the world.

February - Black History Month:  Celebrate the history of college football with a special temporary exhibit telling the story of southern African-American football players that played at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Specialty Exhibit delivered by UPS. The exhibit will open on Feb. 1.

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  www.cfbhall.com .
Check out FootballMatters.org, 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
College Football Hall of Famer Ross Browner (Notre Dame) was named the recipient of the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, which recognizes outstanding defensive football players from the past 40 years. The award will be presented formally during the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Awards Banquet on Dec. 4.

College Football Hall of Famer Doc Blanchard (Army) and Hall of Fame coach Fisher DeBerry (Air Force) will be inducted into the State of South Carolina Football Hall of Fame on April 20. Former South Carolina State wide receiver Charlie Brown, former Clemson defensive end Levon Kirkland and former Furman and NC State Head Coach Dick Sheridan will also be inducted.

College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) has been named the honorary starter for the 59th Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.

College Football Hall of Famer Marty Lyons (Alabama) has assembled a team of 50 cyclists with the goal of raising $200,000 during the New York City TD 5 Borough Bike Ride on May 7 for his eponymous foundation, which fulfills the wishes of children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.

On Feb. 10, 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy winner Tim Tebow (Florida) and his foundation hosted Night to Shine, an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. This year, 375 churches from around the world hosted Night to Shine for 75,000 honored guests through the support of 150,000 volunteers.

Three members of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class/ Campbell Trophy finalists  are among more than 300 prospects who have been invited to compete at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 28-March 6.  Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis, East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones and Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush will put their skills to the test in hopes of increasing their stock in the 2017 NFL Draft, which will take place April 27-29. Seven Campbell Trophy semifinalists will also take part in the Combine.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Tim Crawley (San Jose State) was named to the fall 2016 Academic All-Mountain West team.

PrimeSport, an NFF Partner, announced it has hired Tim Brosnan to be its executive chairman and CEO.

Hofmann Brands, an NFF partner, was recently profiled by MeatPoultry.com, the industry's lead trade magazine covering meat and poultry processing.


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 Missouri State linebacker  Dylan Cole, who maintains a 3.62 GPA in sales management.
Over The Middle
The NFF State of Michigan Chapter renamed its Division I scholar-athlete award in honor of late NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Michigan State punter Mike Sadler . 2016 Campbell Trophy winner Zach Terrell (Western Michigan) was the first recipient of the renamed award.
 
NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter  Executive Director  Roger Crosley  has been named  the recipient of the Bob Kenworthy Division III Communications Award by the Metropolitan New York Football Writers. The Award will be presented Feb. 23 at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet at Met Life Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

The  NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter  will host its monthly luncheon on Feb. 22 at Lombardo's restaurant. The guest speakers will be St. Louis sportscasters Maurice Drummond and   Steve Savard .

The  NFF Miss/Lou Chapter will recognize 14 scholar-athletes during its annual awards banquet on Feb. 23 at the Hotel Vue in  Natchez, Miss. Jackson State head coach Tony Hughes  will be the guest speaker.

The  NFF LT Academy/Fort Worth (Texas) Chapter 's Honor Awards Luncheon will take place Feb. 25 at the Fort Worth Club.

The NFF Portland (Ore.) Chapter will hold its 56th annual scholar-athlete banquet on Feb. 26 at the Red Lion Hotel on the River in Portland, Ore.

The NFF King County/Seattle Chapter will hold its scholar-athlete banquet on Feb. 26 in Seattle, Wash.

The NFF Greater Cincinnati  Chapter's 50th annual scholar-athlete banquet will be held Feb. 28 at The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown. The banquet will honor 2017 College Football Hall of Fame electee Bob Crable (Notre Dame) and will feature Cincinnati's new head football coach Luke Fickell. The Anthony Muñoz Foundation's Offensive and Defensive Linemen of the Year will be  honored  by Anthony Muñoz, a former USC offensive tackle and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Two-Minute Drill
Scheduling

Liberty received notification that the NCAA has approved its request to enter into the Football Bowl Subdivision reclassification process... Georgia State will open the 2017 season against Tennessee State in the stadium formerly known as Turner Field... The SEC announced its 2017 spring game schedule... North Carolina and Appalachian State have agreed to a three-game series in 2019, 2022 and 2023... Louisiana added Grambling State to its 2018 schedule... Arizona will play Southern Utah in 2018...

Obituaries

Paul Lopata, an All-Ivy left end on the Yale team that won the first official Ivy League championship in 1956, passed away Jan. 9. He was 81... Former North Carolina-Pembroke quarterback Jesse Oxendine passed away Feb. 10. He was 90... Mike Walden, the former voice of USC and UCLA sports, passed away Feb. 12. He was 89... Longtime Oklahoma State athletics team physician Donald "Doc" Cooper passed away Feb. 15. He was 88... Former Indiana (Pa.) quarterback Rich Ingold passed away Feb. 15. He was 53... Professional wrestler George "The Animal" Steele, who played football at Michigan State, passed away Feb. 16. He was 79... John Jackson, an assistant football coach at Southern California, UNLV, Hofstra, Dartmouth and Illinois, passed away Feb. 16. He was 81... Former Miami (Fla.) defensive back Leonard Myers died Feb. 17. He was 38... James Madison's first athletics director, Dean Ehlers, passed away Feb. 19... Former Virginia defensive back Darryl Hammond passed away Feb. 19. He was 50... Former longtime Michigan State sports information director Nick Vista passed away Feb. 19. He was 90... Clemson Associate Athletics Director Bert Henderson died Feb. 21. He was 60... Former Kansas cornerback Andrew Davison died. He was 37... Former Saint Xavier (Ill.) football player A.J. Nichols died. He was 27...
Support The NFF
Join the NFF
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Tax deductible gifts help fulfill mission of Building Leaders Through Football.

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.

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. 4, 2017  - Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the New York Hilton Midtown at an event presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses - New  York City
 
Dec. 5, 2017  - NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City
 
Dec. 5, 2017  - NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City
 
Dec. 5, 2017  - 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City, including the induction of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the 28th presentation of The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the New York Athletic Club.
 
Jan. 1, 2018The 13th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Atlanta, Ga.

Jan. 8, 2018 - College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta, Ga.
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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.
 
NFF Chalktalk items are welcome and should be sent to news@footballfoundation.com
 
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