Steve Hatchell,
President & CEO

Media Contacts:
Phil Marwill | 917-579-4256

Alan Cox | 972-556-1000
NFF Chalktalk - March 6, 2017
Capitalizing on the phenomenal success of the NFF High School Showcases in Los Angeles and Houston, the NFF attracted support for two additional events this year in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C. All four events took place between Feb. 11 and March 4. Organizers estimate that participants collectively received 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.

Feb. 11 - The Fifth Annual California Showcase, launched by College Football Hall of Fame Coach Terry Donahue (UCLA, 1976-95), was held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. Approximately 500 high school seniors and 65 colleges took part.  Click here for coverage of the event from the Los Angeles Daily News and click here for video of the event from High School Football America.

Feb. 18 -  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, took place at the Houston Sports Park in Houston, Texas.

Feb. 25 -  The 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, took place at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. More than 378 high school seniors and 43 colleges took part in the event. Click here for coverage from the Miami Herald.

March 4 -  The Inaugural Carolinas Senior Football Showcase, spearheaded by ESPNU college football analyst and former UCLA player Charles Arbuckle, in conjunction with Blazing 7 on 7 (a local non-profit organization that runs offseason passing leagues), concluded the series at the Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, N.C.
The National Football Foundation hosted an inaugural Black History panel Feb. 22 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta with Hall of Fame inductees Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame); Gene Washington (Michigan State); and John Wooten (Colorado) taking center stage. Don McPherson, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Syracuse, emceed the 90-minute discussion. Click here to watch a replay of the panel, which had more than 200 people in attendance and more than 18,000 watching on Facebook Live.

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 last week to the United Negro College Fund.

College Football Hall of Famer Don McPherson moderated the panel.

Morehouse College (Ga.) President Dr. John Wilson talks with College Football Hall of Fame inductee Gene Washington (Michigan State) after the panel.

College Football Hall of Famers John Wooten (Colorado) and Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame) took part in the "Breaking Barriers" panel at the Hall in Atlanta.

NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell introduced the panel.
College Football Hall of Fame CEO Dennis Adamovich welcomed everyone to the Hall.
The panel was part of a month-long celebration of Black History Month at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
The NFF experienced another exceptionally successful year in implementing our efforts to demonstrate that Football MattersĀ®, culminating with another sold-out crowd gathering in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Dec. 6, 2016, for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner.
The latest Footballetter is a collection of photos of those honored and those who paid tribute to the honorees by attending the event that night. This issue also features photos from several other National Football Foundation-related events surrounding the 2016 college football season, including the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the CFP National Championship in Tampa, Fla.
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, 2016 NFF Gold Medal recipient and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Ole Miss)  will be  the featured speaker March 7 at Oklahoma Baptist University's fifth annual Green and Gold Gala at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The event raises funds for student scholarships at OBU.

NFF Board Member, 2013 NFF Leadership Hall of Fame inductee and Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones was named the recipient of the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. He will be honored May 24 at the Sports Business Awards in New York City.

NFF Board Member and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recently profiled on an episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman (UCLA) will lead the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas' 93rd annual fundraising campaign.

Spearheaded by Aikman, the Dallas Cowboys recently hosted a 25-year reunion for its 1992 Super Bowl team. Those in attendance included NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell; NFF Board Member and Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones; College Football Hall of Famers Tony Casillas (Oklahoma), Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh), Charles Haley (James Madison), Chad Hennings (Air Force), Coach Jimmy Johnson, Russell Maryland (Miami [Fla.]), Jay Novacek (Wyoming), Emmitt Smith (Florida), NFF Board Member Roger Staubach (Navy) and Coach Barry Switzer; and 1988 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Mark Stepnoski (Pittsburgh).

NFF Board Members Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma athletics director and 2013 NFF Toner Award recipient) and Bob Vecchione (NACDA Executive Director) are among the speakers that will take part in the Inaugural NACDA Spring Symposium presented by IMG College April 9-11 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Two other past Toner Award winners will also speak: Gene Smith (Ohio State - 2008) and Kevin White (Duke - 2014).

2017 College Football Hall of Fame electee Marshall Faulk (San Diego State) has made his debut as the star of "MVP" - a "Shark Tank"-style reality show where start-up founders pitch to world-class athletes as brand ambassadors.

College Football Hall of Famers Dick ButkusRed GrangeBuddy Young and Coach Bob Zuppke are part of the University of Illinois' inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Other members of the class include former football players Dike EddlemanGeorge Halas and George Huff.

College Football Hall of Famer Sandy Stephens (Minnesota) is the subject of a new book coming soon titled, "A Walk with the Black Moses: Sandy Stephens' Inspiring Stories of Hope and Determination," written by his sister, Barbara Stephens Foster.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Ryan Janvion (Wake Forest) was named one of the 2017 ACC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.

The Tim Tebow Foundation, run by the 2009 Campbell Trophy winner from Florida, hosted its Seventh Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on March 4 at TPC-Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tebow officially reported to the New York Mets' minor league camp.

2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Nate Solder (Colorado), now a member of the New England Patriots, and 2008 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Andrew Luck, now with the Indianapolis Colts, are among the recipients of the 39th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards. They will be honored March 11 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.

2001 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Andre Davis has been hired as a director of student-athlete support and community engagement at his alma mater, Virginia Tech.

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 Robert Morris defensive back  Andy Smigiera, who maintains a  3.86 GPA in accounting.
Over The Middle
The NFF Toledo (Ohio) Chapter 's 55th annual scholar-athlete banquet is scheduled for March 6 at the Seagate Convention Center in Toledo, Ohio. College Football Hall of Fame linebacker and current Northwestern head coach  Pat Fitzgerald will be the guest speaker. The chapter will distribute $20,000 in scholarships.

The NFF Capital District (N.Y.) Chapter will host its scholar-athlete banquet March 6 at the  Radisson Hotel Albany in Albany, N.Y.

The NFF Mike Cleary/Northeastern Ohio Chapter will hold its scholar-athlete banquet March 7 at the LaCentre Banquet Facility in Westlake, Ohio.

The NFF Essex County (N.J.) Chapter's 52nd annual scholar-athlete banquet will take place March 8 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J.

The NFF Greater Baltimore Chapter will host its scholar-athlete banquet March 8 at Martins West in Baltimore, Md.

The NFF Middle Tennessee Chapter will hold its 51st annual scholar-athlete banquet March 8 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, Tenn.

New UC Davis head football coach Dan Hawkins will be the featured speaker at the NFF Sacramento Valley (Calif.) Chapter's scholar-athlete banquet on March 9 at the Sacramento Elks Club. The chapter will honor approximately 50 scholar-athletes.

The NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter will honor 54 high school and collegiate scholar-athletes at its 20th annual awards dinner March 12 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, Pa. Guest speakers at the event will include Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour, Penn State head football coach James Franklin and former Penn State and NFL defensive tackle Brandon Noble.

The NFF Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter will hold its scholar-athlete banquet March 12 at the Westin Hotel in Princeton, N.J.

The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will host its monthly luncheon on March 29 at Lombardo's restaurant. The guest speaker will be Mel Tjeerdsma, the former head football coach and current athletics director at Northwest Missouri State.

The NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter will host its annual Coaches Clinic at Boston College on April 1. The event is open to all high school coaches in Massachusetts. Speakers at the clinic will include Trinity (Conn.) defensive coordinator Lewis Acquarulo, Boston College head coach Steve Addazio, Boston College athletics director Brad BatesTufts (Mass.) head coach Jay Civetti, Boston College offensive line coach Justin Frye, Harvard head coach Tim Murphy, Dartmouth defensive backs coach Danny O'Dea and Boston College defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni. Click here for more information.
Two-Minute Drill

The Mountain West announced its 2017 football schedule... The MAC announced its 2017 football schedule... The Sun Belt Conference announced its 2017 football schedule... Notre Dame announced its 2017 home kickoff times and its 2018 and 2019 schedules... BYU and Tennessee agreed to a home-and-home series in  2019 and 2023... BYU finalized its 2017 schedule... North Texas and SMU have agreed to a four-game extension of their series... Colorado State added Illinois State to its 2018 schedule... Georgia Southern added Maine to its 2019 schedule... The 82nd Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be moved to Friday, Dec. 29, and air in primetime on ESPN...


Marty King, a record-setting All-Pac-10 punter on USC's 1978 national championship team, died Jan. 14. He was 60... Former Stephen F. Austin football player Rusty Talbot passed away Jan. 28. He was 83... Former Baylor football player Larry Hickman passed away Feb. 10. He was 81... Former Towson athletics director Tom Meinhardt passed away Feb. 17. He was 84... Former New Mexico football player Chuck Esquivel passed away Feb. 19. He was 57... Former Boston State head coach and Harvard assistant coach Mac Singleton passed away Feb. 20. He was 74... Former Boston College football player John Richardson died Feb. 22... Former Syracuse trailblazing quarterback  Bernie Custis passed away Feb. 23. He was 88... Former North Carolina football player and IBM executive Paul Rizzo passed away Feb. 23. He was 89... Former Tennessee State football player Sam Smith passed away Feb. 23. He was 74... Former Mansfield (Pa.) football player and Christopher Newport (Va.) and Old Dominion assistant coach Bill Dee passed away Feb. 23. He was 63... 

Melvin Barkum , the first black quarterback to start a game at Mississippi State, passed away Feb. 27. He was 63... David McNabb, a longtime sports writer at The Dallas Morning News, passed away Feb. 27. He was 60...  Former Western Kentucky football player and assistant coach Butch Gilbert passed away Feb. 27. He was 87... Former Auburn athletic trainer Kenny Howard passed away Feb. 27. He was 90... Huey Keeney Sr., who helped lead Rice to a 1947 Orange Bowl victory, passed away Feb. 28. He was 88...  Former Syracuse defensive lineman  Mike Connors  has  passed away . He was  58... Former Northern Iowa fullback Ralph Capitani, who became the school's first First Team All-American in 1954, has passed away. He was 84... Bob Tucker, a former Wooster (Ohio) head coach and assistant at Wichita State, Penn State, Iowa State, Ohio State and Youngstown State, passed away March 5. He was 73...
Support 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
Nov. 1, 2017 -   Announcement of the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy finalists, who comprise the 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments - Via Press Release

Dec. 4, 2017  - Ivy League's Asa S. Bushnell Cup Announcement, presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, at the New York Hilton Midtown - 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.

Dec. 6, 2017 - Campbell Trophy Luncheon at the New York Athletic Club - New York City
Jan. 1, 2018 - The 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.
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