Brunner a Semifinalist for NFF Scholar-Athlete Award
Senior defensive tackle Eric Brunner

Senior defensive tackle Eric Brunner

Sept. 29, 2011

DALLAS - Illinois State senior defensive lineman Eric Brunner was selected as one the 127 candidates for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, as announced by The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame Thursday.

The 127 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. Brunner was one of 33 nominees named from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and one of five players named from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. In all, this year's candidates have a combined grade-point average (GPA) of 3.60 and 56 of them are all-conference selections.

"This year's candidates truly embody the National Football Foundation's mission of building leaders through football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are standouts in the classroom and on the field and have become leaders in their respective communities. Each school should take great pride in being represented by such well-rounded young men who will undoubtedly go on to do great things in life."

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, 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 native of Greendale, Wis., Brunner maintains a 3.38 GPA in finance and is one of four team captains for the Redbirds. In four games this season, Brunner has tallied 18 tackles and recorded two sacks and 4.5 tackles-for-loss. In 2010, he was an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team selection and MVFC All-Academic First Team honoree, after setting career-highs in tackles (53), sacks (4) and tackles-for-loss (9.5). Brunner was also selected as a CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District V Team selection and was named to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team.



The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Wednesday, October 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored December 6 during the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.