Missouri Tiger Kurtis Gregory named finalist for academic award

Columbia, Mo. - University of Missouri offensive lineman Kurtis Gregory has been named one of 54 candidates for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), as announced by Archie Manning, chairman of the National Football Foundation (NFF).  The award is considered the top scholar-athlete award available to college football student-athletes, and has earned the nickname of "the Academic Heisman."

Semifinalists 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. Renamed this fall 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 a $25,000 post- graduate scholarship.

The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2009 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.

Gregory is a graduate student and team co-captain of the 23rd-ranked Tigers, who stand 4-0 on the season, and await their next game, set for Thursday, Oct. 8th against Nebraska, at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo.  The Blackburn, Mo. native earned his undergraduate degree from Mizzou in May of 2008, and is currently working on his Master's degree, which he plans to finish in May.  He was a 2nd-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2008, and he's scheduled to make his 33rd consecutive start at right guard next week against Nebraska.

Gregory is also one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which honors the nation's top student-athletes in the categories of classroom, character, community and competition.