Colorado tight end Matt Lynch received a prestigious honor on Thursday, as he was named as one of 199 semifinalists across the nation for the William V. Campbell Trophy as presented by the National Football Foundation.
For the past 30 years, the Campbell Award has recognized “an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership,” according to a release from the NFF.
Twelve to 14 finalists will be named in November, each of whom will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The winner will be announced late in the year and will have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Each of the semifinalists was nominated by their school. All candidates must be in their final year of eligibility own a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale while demonstrating “strong leadership and citizenship.”
Lynch, a Broomfield native who starred as a quarterback at Legacy High School, spent four seasons at UCLA (including a redshirt year) before joining the Buffs as a graduate transfer. Lynch moved to tight end in 2019 for the Bruins, and he was named to the UCLA athletic director’s honor roll for six semesters during his time at UCLA.
Former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert won the Campbell Trophy last year, and former Buffs player Jim Hansen received the honor in 1992. Past winners also include Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel, and Chad Pennington.
The 199 semifinalists is the highest total in the 31-year history of the award.
“To set a record for the number of Campbell nominees is extra special during the pandemic because it shows how the stature of the award continues to rise even during these challenging times,” NFF Chairman Archie Manning said in a release. “We have worked hard to expand the profile of the award, and it’s extremely gratifying to have so many schools participate this year with nominations. We believe it sends an important message to the younger student-athletes that you truly can do it all, succeeding on the field, in the classroom and as leaders in the community.”