IRVING, Texas -- Senior offensive lineman James Wolff (Yorktown, N.Y.) has been selected to represent Mount Ida on the 2017 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society.
The group is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. A total of 1,089 players from 297 schools qualified for membership in the society's 11th year, both new single-year records in the history of the program.
A three-time Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) All-Academic selection, Wolff is a standout member of the offensive line, and he capped his Mount Ida career by being named to the ECFC All-Conference Second Team this past season.
"We are pleased to see a record number of colleges and universities embrace the Hampshire Honor Society this year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the 777 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
The 1,089 players honored in 2017 sets a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 882 honorees in 2016. The 297 schools with members breaks the previous record of 280 in both 2015 and 2016.
The initiative has honored 7,723 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.
Nineteen schools had at least 10 honorees in 2017, including Boise State, Brown, Carnegie Mellon (Pa.), Central (Iowa), Chicago (Ill.), Colorado School of Mines, Dayton, Elmhurst (Ill.), Hendrix (Ark.), Huntingdon (Ala.), Juniata (Pa.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Morningside (Iowa), Nebraska Wesleyan, Pacific Lutheran (Wash.), Saint John's (Minn.), Southwestern (Texas), St. Thomas (Minn.) and Yale.
Brown in the FCS and Saint John's (Minn.) in Division III led the way with 18 honorees each in 2017, tying Union (N.Y.) in 2012 for the most members in a single year. Boise State led all FBS schools with 11 members. Colorado School of Mines led Division II with 10 members while Morningside (Iowa) led the NAIA with 11.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as the chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 11 years," said Hanson. "Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they're going on to be great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work."
"We have honored more than 7,700 student-athletes in the last 11 years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:
- · Being a starter or a significant contributor in one's last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft) at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university;
- · Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and
- · Meeting all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents an important component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, which began in 1959 with the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Launched with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $11.1 million to 828 top scholars and community leaders.
Each recipient of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Additionally, The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by First-Team Academic All-American and three-time All-MAC quarterback Zach Terrell (Western Michigan) in 2016, receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.3 million.
About the Hampshire Foundation:
The Hampshire Foundation is the charitable arm of The Hampshire Companies, a privately-held, fully-integrated real estate firm that has more than 60 years of hands-on, cycle-tested experience in acquiring, developing, leasing, repositioning, managing, financing and disposing of real estate. Founded by Jon F. Hanson, who served as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006, Hampshire is headquartered in Morristown, N.J. Learn more at www.hampshirere.com.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.