PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Sept. 27, 2012) – Rutgers senior defensive back Duron Harmon (Magnolia, Del.) has been named a semifinalist for the 2012 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, the NFF and College Hall of Fame announced Thursday. One of 147 nominees nationally and one of 50 from the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision , Harmon and the candidate class are semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
One of Rutgers’ top performers on the field and in the classroom, Harmon has compiled a cumulative 3.412 grade point average (GPA) as a Labor Studies major. He has earned All-BIG EAST Academic Team recognition twice, with those honors coming as a sophomore in 2010 and last season as a junior. He additionally made Rutgers University’s Dean’s List for the 2011-12 academic year with a term GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Nominated by their schools, candidates for the awards 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 or significant contributor; and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
A second-year starter in Rutgers’ defensive secondary, Harmon was a First Team All-BIG EAST selection at free safety in 2011. He recorded 49 tackles and ranked second in the conference with five interceptions. Harmon was named a Preseason All-BIG EAST pick by Athlon and Phil Steele leading up to the 2012 season, while also transitioning from free safety to strong safety.
Harmon has additionally made an impact in the surrounding community, highlighted by his constant presence at New Jersey’s Special Olympics event from 2010-12. He pitched in his time at former teammate Eric LeGrand’s charity, Walk to Believe, in both 2011 and 2012. Harmon has also given his time and efforts to the Big Chill 5k Toy Drive (2010) and Urban Impact’s Hurricane Irene Cleanup Project (2011-12).
Former Scarlet Knight and current NFL player Brian Leonard earned the Campbell Trophy, formerly named the Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, in 2006.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, Oct. 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and the group will vie as finalists for the Campbell Trophy.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
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