The National Football Foundation announced on Wednesday that Malone University senior running back Jonathon Zimmerly is a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy.
The award incorporates academics, football ability, leadership and community involvement, recognizing an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Zimmerly, a native of Sterling, Ohio (Norwayne H.S.), serves as a team captain for the Pioneers and is among 181 semifinalists from all levels of college football.
“Jon is everything you look for in a student-athlete,” Pioneer football head coach Fred Thomas said. “He excels in the classroom and is a leader on Malone’s campus. He has been a great role model for our younger players on the field, but more importantly he is a great influence in helping them mature. Jon has been able to balance his community service and his academic responsibility and still be an outstanding football player. He is very deserving of this honor.”
Zimmerly, who has been a key contributor to Malone’s offense and special teams unit throughout his time in a Pioneer uniform, has appeared in a total of 32 career games. In 2016 he made eight special teams tackles and caught four passes for 23 yards while also serving as a lead blocker for All-Conference running back Matt Blasiole. In 2015 Zimmerly piled up 387 rushing yards on 89 carries.
In the classroom Zimmerly is a three-time member of Malone’s dean’s list and compiled an impressive 3.347 cumulative grade point average as a chemistry major. He was named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s All-Academic Team in 2014 and 2015 and then was recognized as a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference’s Academic All-Conference Team in 2016. Zimmerly received his undergraduate degree in May of 2017 and is currently enrolled in Malone’s graduate program, pursuing a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
Zimmerly, one of just 30 NCAA Div. II semifinalists (and the only semifinalist from the G-MAC), also is heavily involved with campus leadership and is a dedicated servant to others. On campus he held positions as the director of communications for Malone’s Student Senate and as co-president of Malone’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Zimmerly also is a member of a local Big Brother program, organized a charity softball tournament and has been a part of the Pioneer football team’s mission trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, in each of the last three years.
Each institution is limited to one Campbell Trophy nominee, and candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility with a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1. Each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. One member of the class will then be declared the winner of the Campbell Trophy at an awards dinner in New York City on Dec. 5. The Scholar-Athlete 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.
For more information about the Campbell Trophy and a complete list of semifinalists, please click here.