Two Longhorns named to 2012 NFF Hampshire Honor Society
May 2, 2012
Austin -- Two former Longhorns were named to the 2012 Hampshire Honor Society, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today. The honorees are LB Emmanuel Acho and RB Foswhitt Whittaker. Texas’ two selections were tied for second-most of any 2011 Big 12 university.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society recognizes players in their last year of eligibility who were a starter or significant substitute throughout the season, while achieving a 3.2 cumulative GPA throughout their entire undergraduate career and meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
A total of 721 players from 232 schools qualified for membership in the society's sixth year, marking this year's class as the largest since the program's creation in 2007.
"The growing number of students involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We salute each one of these young men for their commitment to education and their leadership on and off the football field."
Whittaker rushed for 351 yards and two TDs on 80 carries (4.4 ypc) in 2010 and also caught 34 passes (No. 6 on UT's single-season receptions by a RB list) for 217 yards and completed 2-of-2 passes for 40 yards. In 2009, he appeared in 11 games at running back, including three starts, when he rushed 53 times for 212 yards and four TDs and caught 13 passes for 51 yards. He appeared in seven games, starting two, in 2008 (missing six games due to a knee injury) and carried the ball 64 times for 284 yards (4.4 ypc) and added 10 receptions for 51 yards.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program 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 more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. 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 a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's 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. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $9.8 million to 756 top scholars and community leaders.
Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell Trophy, claimed by Army linebacker Andrew Rodriguez in 2011, 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.