LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates senior captain and linebacker Mark Upton is on the list of 156 semifinalists for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy for scholar-athletes.
The NFF release describes the award:
"The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation and is prominently displayed inside its official home at the New York Athletic Club.
"The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 27th William V. 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 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."
Upton is interested in pursuing an advanced degree in international relations. Studying politics as a major and minoring in rhetoric, he has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.56. He has been named to the Dean's List three times and was a NESCAC Fall All-Academic selection in both 2014 and 2015.
Upton is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Men Against Sexual Violence and a career development fellow. The talented athlete was even drafted in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League out of high school.
Upton's credentials on the football field are impressive on their own. The middle linebacker has been Bates' leading tackler in each of the past two seasons, and ranked among national leaders in Division III in tackles for loss and forced fumbles. Upton was named to the NESCAC All-Conference First Team Defense in both 2014 and 2015, and also picked up All-New England Divisions II/III honors from the New England Football Writers in 2015.
Upton is one of 33 semifinalists from Division III, and the only player from a NESCAC institution. Bates' last player to be honored as a semifinalist for this award was Jamie Walker in 2007; it was then called the Draddy Trophy.
The NFF Announces William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalists