In all, 181 semifinalists were announced for what is known as the “academic Heisman” as the trophy is awarded to a player with the best combination of athleticism and academics.
Michaels, who is a fifth-year senior majoring in accounting, was named to the Academic All-America Division I football team in 2016, as well as to the Academic All-District VIII squad and the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. He was also a two-time Pioneer Football League All-Academic First Teamer.
As the Toreros’ starting nickelback, Michaels had 55 tackles in 2016 and is fourth on the team with 24 tackles so far in 2017.
“These 181 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons, Peyton and Eli, were named NFF National Scholars in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “It is important for us to showcase their success on the football field, in the classroom and in the community. This year’s semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders.”
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The finalists will then travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where the winner will be announced. The winner of the Campbell Trophy will have his scholarship increased to $25,000.
“The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments,” NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell said. “We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist’s achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level.”
The semifinalists were selected from a pool of candidates who were nominated by their respective schools. Each school was limited to one nominee and the candidate must be a senior or graduate student in his final year of eligibility with a GPA of at least 3.2 and outstanding football ability.
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