Harris Honored at NFF Event
Dec. 8, 2009
NEW YORK CITY - In a special night in Manhattan, Bulldog football player Moses Harris was recognized as one of the nation's best scholar-athletes. Harris was among those honored at Tuesday's National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Awards event held at the historic Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan.
As a finalist for the National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy, Harris was invited to New York City all expenses paid to participate and be honored during the event.
A two-time All-WAC selection as a player, Harris' leadership on the field and Fresno State's campus helped set him apart for this award. There were 154 semi-finalists from all Division of NCAA football and the NAIA, and from the semifinalists Harris was one of 16 chosen to be a finalist. He's the second Bulldog so honored, joining Vernon Fox in 2001.
In the classroom, Harris graduated from the Craig School of Business in May with a 3.56 GPA and is enrolled in the MBA program at Fresno State. He's served as the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and won the school's first-ever Bulldog Spirit Award.
While in New York City, Harris and the other event winners were treated well and offered the great things the city has to offer this time of the year.
Harris was especially impressed with the Radio City Music Hall and the Christmas Spectacular. He said the Rockette Dancers were "perfect, no mistakes", which is a tremendous compliment coming from such a perfectionist.
In addition to the other award winners, Harris got to meet the Award's namesake, Bill Campbell, a giant in the Silicon Valley and former football player and coach at Columbia. Harris also spent time chatting with NFF Gold Medal winner and Nike owner Phil Knight, who along with his wife, Penny, spent the majority of the reception with Pat and Cathy Hill and Harris.
The event was a who's who of college football, from the award winners, to presenters to the dignitaries in attendance. During the VIP reception prior to the event, where only the Hall of Fame inductees and award winners from the 2009 class and all previous classes were present, Harris was honored in front of a more intimate group that included Joe Paterno, Barry Switzer, Archie Griffin, and Lynn Swann. Even tennis legend John McEnroe was at the event.
"This was really a once in a life-time experience, "Harris said. "I am truly blessed and honored to be with such an amazing group of people. This is just an amazing experience and I can't thank everyone for making this possible, especially Coach Hill who took a chance on me."
University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, arguably one of the most decorated players in college football history, became the 20th recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth.
The Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy) is one of college football's most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. The award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship. A total of $300,000 was awarded to Tebow and the other 15 Campbell Trophy finalists, who each claimed $18,000 scholarships for their post-graduate educations.
"Tim Tebow is a once in a lifetime student-athlete," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "Tim's unparalleled accomplishments and charisma have transcended the playing field, capturing the imagination of both young and old. We could not be prouder to have Tim as an ambassador of this award and our sport."
Boasting a 3.66 grade point average as a Family, Youth & Community Sciences major, Tebow has twice been named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year. Based on his combined scholastic achievement and campus involvement, Tebow also recently earned induction into the university's Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors awarded to students by the Division of Student Affairs at the UF. The Jacksonville, Fla., native is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time First Team Academic All-American.
As the only sophomore to ever win the Heisman, Tebow boasts two national championship titles and has also won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, the Manning Award, back-to-back Maxwell awards in 2007 and '08, and the Sullivan Award, which is annually presented to the nation's top amateur athlete. As the undisputed leader of the nation's No. 5 team, he is the only player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season (2007) and entered his senior campaign with four NCAA, nine SEC and 23 school records. Tebow leads the Gators in both rushing and passing, accounting for more than 11,000 yards of total offense and 140 touchdowns in his career.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to credit a player for both academic and athletic accomplishments. The centerpiece to the NFF's scholar-athlete program, which has awarded $9.2 million to 724 top athletes, the Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, was renamed this fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal.
"The NFF mission is to build leaders through football, and the 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class members stand as a testament to that creed," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "We look forward to supporting the bright futures of each of these fine young men, and we take great pride in holding them out as examples of football's unique ability to build tomorrow's leaders."
Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average 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.
The 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients and Campbell Trophy Finalists includes:
Listed in chronological order, past Campbell winners, counting two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, and a Heisman Trophy winner, include:
"We are Your Team!" Fresno State's football team will head to the New Mexico Bowl to play the Wyoming Cowboys on Dec. 19 in Albuquerque. For ticket information, click the tickets icon at the top of this page.