IRVING, Texas (Jan. 6, 2021) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that University of Memphis quarterback Brady White has been named the 31st recipient of The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda.
“A doctoral student who ranks as Memphis’ all-time leading passer, Brady White is the epitome of what the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda represents,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons, Peyton (Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Eli, were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “Working towards one’s PhD is a daunting challenge by itself. To do it while excelling at the highest level of college football is truly exceptional. Brady embodies the scholar-athlete ideal, and we are proud to have him as a member of this elite fraternity.”
The Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda ranks as one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. The 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy, which is prominently displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club, comes with a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship. Mazda became the presenting sponsor of the Campbell Trophy® in September 2019.
A total of $223,000 was awarded in 2020 to White and the 11 other members of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments, who comprised the list of finalists for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda. Each member of the class (listed below) claimed an $18,000 scholarship for their postgraduate educations.
“Brady and his fellow members of the 2020 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class represent more than just their standout athletic ability seen on the field,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Their academic achievements and their contributions as leaders in the community send a powerful message about the young men who play our sport. They have taken full advantage of the educational opportunities created by college football, and they have created a compelling legacy for others to follow.”
The personification of success on and off the field, White became Memphis’ all-time leading passer this season while pursuing a doctorate.
A grad transfer, White graduated cum laude with a 3.58 GPA in business from Arizona State in 3.5 years. After completing his master’s in sports administration at Memphis in just over a year, he is currently pursuing a doctorate in liberal studies.
A 2019 First Team Academic All-District selection, White is a two-time American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team honoree and a member of Memphis’ Tiger 3.0 Club and the Dean’s List. While at Arizona State, the Santa Clarita, California, native was a First Team Academic All-Pac-12 selection.
This season, White led Memphis to an 8-3 record. He capped his stellar collegiate career earning 2020 Montgomery Bowl MVP honors after completing 22 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ win over Florida Atlantic.
His 3,380 passing yards this season rank second in the American Athletic Conference and fifth nationally. The game captain is also second in the conference and fifth nationally with 31 passing touchdowns while his 202 points responsible for are second in the American and tied for fifth nationally.
Following the largest comeback victory in Memphis history (a 50-49 win against UCF on Oct. 17), White was named the Walter Camp and Maxwell Award National Player of the Week and the conference offensive player of the week. In the game, he set a Memphis record with 486 passing yards and tied a school and conference mark with seven total touchdowns.
White was also named conference offensive player of the week two other times this year. He was a top-15 candidate for the 2020 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and he was selected as a member of the Davey O’Brien Award’s Quarterback Class of 2020.
Although the game has been canceled this season, White received an invitation to the 2021 East-West Shrine Bowl and will be able to participate in various virtual training/informational drills with current NFL coaches and members of the NFL Operations staff.
Just the second Memphis quarterback to reach the 10,000-yard passing mark, White is the Tigers’ all-time leading passer with 10,690 career yards, a total that also ranks second all-time in American Athletic Conference history.
He also holds the Memphis and conference record for career passing touchdowns (90). White’s 28 wins as a starting quarterback are the most in Tigers history while his 769 completions are second in school annals.
A 2019 Second Team All-AAC performer, White was a finalist for the Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He guided Memphis to a 12-2 season and a No. 17 final ranking in 2019, which saw the program’s first outright American Athletic Conference title and its first New Year’s Six Bowl berth in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
White led the American with 4,014 passing yards (fourth nationally) and 33 passing TDs (t-sixth nationally) in 2019. His passing yards were the second-most in school single-season history, making him just the second Memphis quarterback to ever record a 4,000-yard passing season.
Active off the field, White completed 35 hours of community service in 2019 alone, and he was a semifinalist for the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy. He has visited LeBonheur Children’s and St. Jude Children’s hospitals, volunteered with the Jessie Reed Foundation by distributing Joy Jars to hospitalized kids and participated in the Tiger Blue Holiday event at Gardenview Elementary. He continued to give back during the pandemic, reading a book to a local school system via Facebook Live.
White is Memphis’ first recipient of the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and the school’s first NFF National Scholar-Athlete. He also becomes the first winner of the trophy from the American Athletic Conference.
White is set to be recognized as the recipient of the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda at several prestigious events. On Thursday, he will take part in the virtual “The Home Depot College Football Awards” that will air at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. White will also be recognized as the Campbell Trophy® recipient with a video tribute during the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Launched in 1959 and celebrating its 62nd year in 2020, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic, athletic and community accomplishments, and the program has awarded $11.9 million to 878 top athletes since its inception. Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average 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 centerpiece to the NFF’s scholar-athlete program, the William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda was first awarded in 1990. It is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal.
An All-Ivy League player and the captain of Columbia’s 1961 Ivy League championship team, Bill Campbell found his true calling after an unlikely career change at age 39 from Columbia football coach to advertising executive. His ability to recruit, develop and manage talented executives – all lessons learned on the gridiron – proved to be a critical component of his ability to inspire his business teams to the highest levels of success.
As the CEO and chairman of Intuit, Campbell’s strong leadership and unique talent in building teams allowed him to become one of the most influential individuals in Silicon Valley, using the lessons of the gridiron to mentor Steve Jobs of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai and Eric Schmidt of Google, Scott Cook and Brad Smith of Intuit, John Doerr of Kleiner-Perkins, Dick Costolo at Twitter, Diane Greene of VMWare and countless others. His contributions were recently captured in a book titled “The Trillion Dollar Coach,” and during his lifetime, he affectionately became known as the “Coach of Silicon Valley.”
Campbell joined the NFF Board in 1978 while he was still a coach at Columbia, and he continued to serve with distinction until his passing in 2016. In 2004, the NFF recognized Campbell’s contributions and accomplishments by presenting him with the NFF Gold Medal, the organization’s highest honor. In 2009, the NFF renamed college football’s premier scholar-athlete award as The William V. Campbell Trophy® in his honor.
Past Recipients of The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda
- Chris Howard (Air Force, 1990 – University President)
- Brad Culpepper (Florida, 1991 – Attorney)
- Jim Hansen (Colorado, 1992 – Climatologist)
- Thomas Burns (Virginia, 1993 – Engineering Executive)
- Robert Zatechka (Nebraska, 1994 – Physician)
- Bobby Hoying (Ohio State, 1995 – Real Estate Executive)
- Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1996 – Non-Profit Executive Director)
- Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997 – TV Personality & Philanthropist)
- Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1998 – Insurance Executive & TV Broadcaster)
- Chad Pennington (Marshall, 1999 – Non-Profit President & High School Football Coach)
- Kyle Vanden Bosch (Nebraska, 2000 – Retired NFL Player)
- Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami [FL], 2001 – Corporate Executive)
- Brandon Roberts (Washington University in St. Louis [MO], 2002 – Physician)
- Craig Krenzel (Ohio State, 2003 – Insurance Executive)
- Michael Munoz (Tennessee, 2004 – Football Executive)
- Rudy Niswanger (LSU, 2005 – Corporate Executive)
- Brian Leonard (Rutgers, 2006 – Real Estate Executive)
- Dallas Griffin (Texas, 2007 – Corporate Executive)
- Alex Mack (California, 2008 – NFL Player)
- Tim Tebow (Florida, 2009 – Non-Profit Chairman, TV Broadcaster & Baseball Player)
- Sam Acho (Texas, 2010 – Humanitarian, Author & Broadcaster)
- Andrew Rodriguez (Army West Point, 2011 – U.S. Army Captain & Graduate Student)
- Barrett Jones (Alabama, 2012 – Financial Advisor & Broadcaster)
- John Urschel (Penn State, 2013 – Ph.D. Candidate, Speaker & Author)
- David Helton (Duke, 2014 – Finance & Business Operations)
- Ty Darlington (Oklahoma, 2015 – College Football Assistant Coach)
- Zach Terrell (Western Michigan, 2016 – Executive Development Associate)
- Micah Kiser (Virginia, 2017 – NFL Player)
- Christian Wilkins (Clemson, 2018 – NFL Player)
- Justin Herbert (Oregon, 2019 – NFL Player)