Irving, TX – Austin Peay State University (APSU) football team linebacker and graduate student Jack McDonald is one of 176 semifinalists for the 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy®, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award presented by the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame.
McDonald, of Brentwood, Tennessee, completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing in May with a 3.57 grade-point average. He was a six-time Austin Peay State University Dean’s List honoree and twice named to the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll during his undergraduate career. McDonald was recognized twice on the Ohio Valley Conference’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a 2020-21 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Team selection.
On the field, McDonald is in his fourth season with the Governors and third season at linebacker after beginning his collegiate career as a reserve tight end. In two-plus seasons, he has recorded 210 tackles – third-most among NCAA FCS linebackers in the same time span – with 20.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He was a Preseason All-OVC honoree this fall after earning First Team All-OVC recognition in the spring.
McDonald also has been involved in the APSU community, serving as a peer mentor to Austin Peay State University freshman student-athletes in the Athletics Mentoring Program and joined in campus volunteer experiences with Operation Teammate, Clarksville’s Loaves and Fishes and in cleanup efforts at the Lincoln Homes Community. He also has led youth groups at Hillcrest Community Church in Clarksville.
His leadership and volunteer efforts continue in Brentwood as well. McDonald continues to serve as a youth leader at Thompson Station Church camps. He also has performed international mission work with the Love One Organization.
McDonald becomes the 20th Austin Peay State University football student-athletes recognized as a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy since 2000. He is one of two OVC student-athletes recognized among the semifinalists, joining Tennessee Tech tight end Tavin Kilpatrick.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists, October 27th, with each receiving an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2021 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas for the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on December 7th, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 32nd Campbell Trophy® and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
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.
Launched in 1959, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments celebrate their 63rd year in 2021. The awards were the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on both a player’s academic and athletic accomplishments, and the NFF has recognized 878 outstanding individuals since the program’s inception. This year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $12.1 million.
The Campbell Trophy® was first awarded in 1990, adding to the program’s prestige. Past recipients include two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and seven first-round NFL draft picks. Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the trophy has been prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club since 2013, and the winner is honored each year during a special luncheon at the venue.