Seven Panthers recognized by National Football Foundation
IRVING, Texas – The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) has announced the members of the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. A total of 1,103 players from 302 schools qualified for membership in the society's 11th year, both new single-year records in the history of the program.
Plymouth State University's representatives in the group of seniors are DL Alton George (Foxboro, Mass.), FB Tyler Mahoney (Dracut, Mass./Greater Lowell Tech), DL Brandon Mitchell (Windham, Maine), OL Ricky Ordway (Walpole, Mass.), DB RJ Ramsden (Florence, Mass./Northampton), K Ryan Waldecker (Hooksett, N.H./Manchester Memorial), and LB Joe Walsh (Taunton, Mass.).
"We are pleased to see a record number of colleges and universities embrace the Hampshire Honor Society this year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the 778 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.
The 1,103 players honored in 2017 sets a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 882 honorees in 2016. The 302 schools with members breaks the previous record of 280 in both 2015 and 2016. The initiative has honored 7,737 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as the chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 11 years," said Hanson. "Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they're going on to be great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work."
"We have honored more than 7,700 student-athletes in the last 11 years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. "We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:
- Being a starter or a significant contributor in one's last year of eligibility (or a senior who has declared for the NFL Draft) at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university;
- Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and
- Meeting all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
(Courtesy of the National Football Foundation)
-- 30 --