Dallas Griffin named Draddy Trophy finalist
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas senior C Dallas Griffin has been named a finalist for the 2007 Draddy Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best in the country for combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) has announced. Griffin is the ninth Longhorn to be named a NFF National Scholar-Athlete and the first since Pat Fitzgerald (1996).
"I found out how big of a deal this award is when Neale Tweedie was up for it last year," said Griffin. "Since then, I've studied up on some of the past winners and not only did they excel in the classroom, but they were amazing players. It is just a great combination of on-field and off-field success and community service. To be included in this year's class is a great honor and I'm so happy to be representing Texas when it comes to such a prestigious award."
As a finalist, Griffin joins 14 other athletes to comprise the 2007 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. Each member of the elite group, which was selected from 153 semifinalists, will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. If chosen as the Draddy recipient, the scholarship will increase to $25,000.
"Dallas epitomizes everything you want in a student-athlete," said Mack Brown. "He's competitive, committed and at the top of his class in the classroom and he's equally as determined and successful on the football field. Dallas is a terrific player and leader for us, a tremendous student-athlete and an even finer young man. The National Football Foundation couldn't have made a better selection for a national scholar-athlete award and Draddy Award finalist. We're all thrilled for Dallas and proud of everything he's accomplishing on and off the field."
Earlier this year, Griffin was named to the preseason Playboy All-American team as the Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete, which has honored the nation's premier student-athlete in football since 1987. During his career at Texas, Griffin has been a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection, has posted a perfect 4.0 GPA six times and graduated with a double major in business honors and finance in the spring of 2007. This fall, he began his coursework in UT's prestigious Red McCombs MBA Program.
On the field, Griffin has played in 30 career games and started the first eight of 2007. He has helped the UT offense post 437.8 yards per game (26th NCAA), 164.5 rushing yards per game and 34.6 points per game (28th NCAA) this season. In 2006, he appeared in eight games as the primary backup at center. He earned UT's Lan Hewlett Academic Award and shared the Lowe's Most Improved Offensive Player Award. He helped Texas gain 162.6 rushing yards per game (34th NCAA), 391.5 total yards per game (23rd NCAA) and score 35.9 points per game (seventh NCAA).
Active in his community, Griffin is part of a group of Longhorns that regularly visits patients at the Dell Children's Medical Center and he has volunteered answering calls and taking donations at the Children's Miracle Network telethon. In addition, Griffin spent the summer of 2005 interning at NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach's real estate company (The Staubach Company) and spent the summer of 2006 working for an Austin hedge fund. He also is a member of UT's Financial Analyst Program where he assists MBA students in the management of a $15 million investment fund.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, finalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The Draddy recipient will be announced at the 60th Anniversary of the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 4 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.