Gillislee on Maxwell watch list


Mike Gillislee is currently the SEC's second-leading rusher, totaling 402 yards on 69 carries through the Gators' first four games.

Doug Finger/ Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.

Running back Mike Gillislee has been added to the Maxwell Award Watch List, announced on Thursday by the Maxwell Football Club. The original list was comprised of 65 players who were selected based on their performances during the 2011 season. As the 2012 season has progressed, the Club selected several additional players that warrant attention because of their noteworthy play.

Gillislee is currently the Southeastern Conference's second-leading rusher, totaling 402 yards on 69 carries through the Gators' first four games. He also has five rushing touchdowns, ranking sixth in the SEC in scoring among non-kickers. Gillislee now has 214 carries for 1,322 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career. Gillislee had 56 carries through the first three games, equaling the total number of carries that he had during the 2011 season.

The senior had his first career 100-yard rushing game in the season opener against Bowling Green, totaling 148 yards on 24 carries (6.2 avg) and scoring two touchdowns. Gillislee scored two more touchdowns in Week 2 at Texas A&M, becoming the first Gator to rush for at least two touchdowns in two-straight games since Tim Tebow in 2008 against Georgia and Vanderbilt. Gillislee recorded his second career 100-yard game and second of the season with 18 carries for 115 yards (6.4 avg) in the win at Tennessee.

Gillislee and the Gators return to action after their bye week to face No. 3 LSU on October 6 in The Swamp. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.

Sturgis named William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist

UF kicker Caleb Sturgis has been named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation.

Sturgis is currently pursuing a graduate degree in management after receiving his bachelor's degree in December of 2011. He is a three-time Southeastern Conference Honor Roll member and four-year letterman on the football team. On the field, he was named a finalist for the 2011 Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation's top kicker, and was a preseason All-America selection by many major news outlets in 2012.

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the 147 candidates for the 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education. The 147 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth.

"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."

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.

"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."

The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored December 4 during the 55th 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.

Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, 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 increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.1 million.

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.

In 2011, the NFF and Fidelity launched a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. As part of the initiative, Fidelity became the first presenting sponsor ever in the 54-year history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program. Fidelity also helped launch the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the institutions with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. As part of the initiative, the NFF will present each of the faculty representatives with a plaque and a $5,000 check from Fidelity Investments to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.

The past recipients of the Campbell Trophy include: Air Force's Chris Howard (1990); Florida's Brad Culpepper (1991); Colorado's Jim Hansen (1992); Virginia's Thomas Burns (1993); Nebraska's Rob Zatechka (1994); Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (1995); Florida's Danny Wuerffel (1996); Tennessee's Peyton Manning (1997); Georgia's Matt Stinchcomb (1998); Marshall's Chad Pennington (1999); Nebraska's Kyle Vanden Bosch (2000); Miami's (Fla.) Joaquin Gonzalez (2001); Washington University in St. Louis' Brandon Roberts (2002); Ohio State's Craig Krenzel (2003); Tennessee's Michael Munoz (2004); LSU's Rudy Niswanger (2005); Rutgers' Brian Leonard (2006); Texas' Dallas Griffin (2007); Cal's Alex Mack (2008); Florida's Tim Tebow (2009); Texas' Sam Acho (2010); and Army's Andrew Rodriguez (2011).

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