Northwestern player named finalist for William V. Campbell Trophy

Josh Walfish, Gameday Editor

Northwestern left tackle Patrick Ward is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation announced this morning.

The senior was one of 15 finalists named for the award informally known as the “academic Heisman.” Ward will receive a $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and the distinction of being named a 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.

“It’s a tremendous honor and a real humbling honor,” Ward said. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized with such an outstanding group of student athletes.”

Ward has started 34 consecutive games at various positions on NU’s offensive line. Ward, a two-time Capital One Academic All-District honoree, was named a first-team Capital One Academic All-American in 2011. He maintains a 3.94 cumulative GPA as a mechanical engineering major and has twice been honored as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten award winner.

“This year’s class contains some of the finest student-athletes to ever compete in college athletics in any sport,” NFF president and CEO Steven J. Hatchell said in a news release. “They have an average GPA of 3.67, which showcases their commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. Without exception, they embody what it takes to be great leaders. We are proud to hold them out as examples for future generations to emulate.”

— Josh Walfish