Photo of Nick Thomas by Mark Hicks
DALLAS - Two football players from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) were named semifinalists for the National Football Foundation's (NFF) William V. Campbell Trophy. Ashland University senior defensive back Donnie Dottei (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer) and Wayne State University senior middle linebacker Nick Thomas (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) were among the 147 semifinalists and were two of the 11 Division II nominees.
The 16 recipients of the $18,000 NFF postgraduate scholarships will be announced on Oct. 25 and are presented by Fidelity Insurance.
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.
Dottei is a senior and a team captain on an Ashland University team that is 5-0 and ranked ninth in the country. The safety has 21 tackles (15 solo) and one interception. This is his second season as a starter. The senior has earned three letters. Dottei is an integrated mathematics major/actuary science major. He is a two-time member of the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team.
A two-time All-GLIAC selection (Second Team in 2009 and First Team in 2010), Thomas is also a three Academic All-GLIAC honoree. He finished the 2009 campaign second in the GLIAC and fifth nationally in tackles per game (11.82). A 2010 Warrior captain, Thomas started the first five games before suffering a season-ending injury but was still named to the All-GLIAC First Team. Despite redshirting in 2011, Thomas completed requirements for his bachelor's degree in honors finance. He is currently working on his MBA and is second on the WSU squad with 30 tackles in 2012.
Named 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 increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.1 million.