UW-Oshkosh senior offensive tackle Alex Wipperfurth is one of 185 semifinalists for the National Football Foundation's (NFF) 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, an award that recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Nominated by their schools, candidates for the Campbell Trophy 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 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.
Wipperfurth is among 49 NCAA Division III semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy. The WIAC had two other candidates – defensive lineman Aaron Wisecup of UW-Stout and linebacker Matt Anderson of UW-Whitewater.
The overall semifinal list also featured 71 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision, 39 from the Football Championship Subdivision, 19 from the NCAA Division II and 7 from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
"These 185 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "For more than 60 years, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete program has showcased more than 800 college football players who have been successful on the football field, in the classroom and as leaders in the community. And we are excited to celebrate the 30th year of the William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, which honors the best of the best. This year's semifinalists further illustrate the power of our great sport in developing the next generation of influential leaders."
Wipperfurth entered the 2019 season having started 21 of the 25 games that he played in. In 2017, he started all 11 games for a UW-Oshkosh team that compiled a 12-1 record, won the WIAC championship and advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III Championship. In 2018, he started all 10 contests for a UW-Oshkosh team that registered a 6-4 record and finished third in the WIAC. The Sauk Prairie High School graduate appeared in four games for a 2016 UW-Oshkosh squad that posted a 13-2 record, finished second in the WIAC and participated in the NCAA Division III national title game.
This season, Wipperfurth has started all three games for a UW-Oshkosh team that has earned a 2-1 record, including victories of 20-19 over Carthage College and 44-14 over Huntingdon College (Ala.). Wipperfurth has helped the Titans' offense average 412 yards per game, including 240.3 in the air.
Off the field, Wipperfurth owns a 3.43 cumulative grade-point average as an education major. He is a three-time member of both the University Dean's List and WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll.
Wipperfurth has also been involved with several campus and community organizations, including the Oshkosh Polar Plunge, Feeding America, Old Glory Honor Flight and Be The Match.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 30, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 30th Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Named in honor of the late William 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 Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $11.7 million.
Previous winners of the Campbell Trophy include University of Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997), Marshall University's (Ohio) Chad Pennington (1999), University of Florida's Tim Tebow (2009) and University of Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000).
Wipperfurth follows Turner Geisthardt (2018), Brett Kasper (2017), Branden Lloyd (2016), Craig Schommer (2015), Beau Steffens (2014), Cory Wipperfurth (2013), Ben Strehlow (2012) and Justin Budiac (2011) as recent UW-Oshkosh nominees for the Campbell Trophy.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."