Gatling was nominated by Morgan State University as a candidate to receive the 2020 William V. Campbell Trophy, an award that annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
The Greensboro (N.C.) product will find if he is one of the 12 to 14 finalists in mid-October. All finalists will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
One winner will be chosen to receive a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Last year, Morgan State’s All-MEAC linebacker Ian McBorrough was a semifinalist for the award.
The National Football Federation has given out the William V. Campbell trophy every year since 1990 to notable players such as Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow.
Throughout the fall, the NFF will highlight the success of the past recipients and finalists for the award through a social and digital media campaign. The year will culminate with the presentation of the 30th Campbell Trophy® during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City.
“The Campbell Trophy® is the epitome of all that is good in the game of football,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “It is the only award that truly celebrates the scholar-athlete ideal, honoring the combination of on-field and academic success. As the game of college football celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019, we look forward to honoring our 30th Campbell Trophy® recipient while shining a light on all of our past winners and finalists, who stand as perfect examples for the next generation to emulate.”
Gatling was one of the league’s premier defensive players in 2019. He saw action in every game (12) and ranked third on the team with 74 tackles (50 solo). He also recorded 3 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery. The redshirt-junior posted double-digit tackles (10) at Norfolk State (Nov. 9) and finished with nine stops at Bowling Green (Aug. 29).
Off the field, Gatling is heavily involved with the ARTWithAHeart Foundation and has volunteered at the Martin Luther King Elementary/Middle School and Windsor Hill Elementary/Middle School.
Gatling earned his bachelor’s degree in Applied Liberal Sciences and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.67 GPA in May (2020). He will pursue a Master’s in Sociology this Fall. Gatling was also a 2020 MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic selection and was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the Campbell Trophy®and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Named in honor of the late William V. Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal, The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda has become the most prestigious and desirable “academic” award in college football. The trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
Selected by the NFF Awards Committee in October, the finalists and the winner are all honored at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by ETT in December at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Each finalist receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. During the event, one member of the class is selected as the recipient of the Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation and has his postgraduate scholarship increased to a total of $25,000. The award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy.
Following the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the recipient of the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is honored at several prestigious events. On the Wednesday following the Dinner, the New York Athletic Club (NYAC), the official home of the trophy, hosts a luncheon in his honor. From there, he heads directly to Atlanta for ESPN’s “The Home Depot College Football Awards” at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, where he is interviewed live during the show. Finally, he is honored on the field during the College Football Playoff National Championship in January.
Known as “The Coach of Silicon Valley,” Bill Campbell became one of our country’s most influential business leaders, playing critical roles in the success of Apple, Google, Intuit and countless other high tech companies. The captain of the 1961 Columbia Ivy League championship team, he found his true calling after an unlikely career change at age 39 from football coach to advertising executive. His ability to recruit, develop, and manage talented executives – all lessons learned on the gridiron – proved to be a critical component of his ability to inspire his business teams to the highest levels of success. Later in life, Campbell was driven by a heartfelt desire to give back, and he quietly gave away tens of millions of dollars to multiple charities while also finding an hour and half each autumn weekday to coach an eighth-grade boys and girls flag-football team near his home in Palo Alto, California. Campbell passed away April 18, 2016, at the age of 75.
With an average GPA of 3.74, past recipients of the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda include two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and six first round NFL Draft picks. Additionally, 19 of the 29 winners have made their mark in the NFL. If you hold the title Campbell Trophy® recipient, you are one of the following: a college president, a doctor, a lawyer, a world-wide leader in climatology research, a PhD nuclear engineer executive, a partner in a highly successful real estate firm, a director with a non-profit foundation, high school football coach, television broadcaster, corporate executive, minor league baseball player, assistant college football coach, assistant brigade planner, PhD candidate at MIT or a financial advisor, and that does not include the four recipients still playing in the NFL.
In 2019, Mazda announced a three-year partnership to become the official sponsor of the The William V. Campbell Trophy®, kicking off its Power of Potential platform. Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at InsideMazda.MazdaUSA.com/Newsroom. Follow MNAO’s social media channels through Twitter and Instagram at @MazdaUSA and Facebook at Facebook.com/MazdaUSA.
ABOUT THE NFF SCHOLAR-ATHLETE PROGRAM
The NFF National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships for combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Including the 2018 recipients, the NFF has honored 854 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards. The honorees have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs and 43 PhDs. Continuing their excellence on the field, more than 200 recipients have played in the NFL with an average career of six seasons or double the length of a typical NFL player. Past recipients also include 13 Rhodes Scholars.
NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL AWARDS ASSOCIATION
The William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.
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Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.