NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Graduate linebacker Drue Tranquill has been named a finalist for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is awarded annually by the National Football Foundation to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. The award is also widely known as the “Academic Heisman.”
Tranquill will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, and he will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 4, where his accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the 13-member class will be declared the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.
A two-time captain and graduate student, Tranquill has thrived both on and off the field in his time at Notre Dame. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native becomes the 18th NFF National Scholar-Athlete in Notre Dame’s history. He ranks second in tackles in 2018 with 47 (38 solo, nine assists) for the third-ranked Irish while he’s added six tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one sack. The standout linebacker has been a key part of Notre Dame’s perfect 8-0 start this season and a leader on a defense that is holding opponents to just 19.1 points per game.
Tranquill graduated in May 2018 with an impressive 3.73 GPA in mechanical engineering. A 2016 First Team Academic All-American, Tranquill was named a First Team Academic All-District selection three times. A two-time recipient of Notre Dame’s Rockne Student-Athlete Award, he is a five-time member of the Dean’s List, and he has been inducted into the Pi Tau Sigma engineering honorary.
Tranquill was named Notre Dame’s 2014 Defensive Newcomer of the Year following a season where he tallied 33 tackles and one interception. The four-year letterwinner was medically redshirted after suffering a torn ACL in 2015 before rebounding in 2016 to finish second on the team with 79 tackles. Tranquill transitioned from safety to linebacker in 2017, and he was third in tackles on a Notre Dame team that won the 2017 Citrus Bowl and finished No. 11 in the polls. Boasting an impressive 253 career tackles, Tranquill was named a finalist for the 2017 Pop Warner Award.
A 2017 Wuerffel Trophy finalist and 2018 Wuerffel Trophy candidate, Tranquill launched the “5th Quarter” postgame event in 2016, giving him the opportunity to share his story of perseverance with the South Bend Community. Tranquill has participated in three mission trips to the Dominican Republic, and he is an Athlete Ambassador for Dream Teams, a mentoring program in South Bend elementary schools. He serves as a football representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and the Rosenthal Leadership Academy.
Candidates for the award 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.
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 playing 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.
Notre Dame has had a finalist four times in the past 12 years (Tranquill in 2018, LB Manti Te’o in 2012, OL Chris Stewart in 2010 and TE John Carlson in 2007).
The Campbell Trophy® is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit, a former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal. The award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $241,000 in scholarships will be awarded Dec. 4, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $11.5 million.
Following the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the 2018 Campbell Trophy® recipient will be honored at several other prestigious events. On Wednesday, Dec. 5, the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) will host a luncheon in his honor. From there, he will travel directly to Atlanta for ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, Dec. 6, where he will be interviewed live during the show. Finally, he will travel to Santa Clara, California, to be honored on the field during the College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi’s® Stadium on Monday, Jan. 7.
Tranquill and the Irish travel to Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is slated for 7:15 p.m ET on ESPN.
— ND —