Westampton, N.J., native is a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy
EASTON, Mass. (October 7, 2013) – Stonehill College senior defensive back James Lanier (Westampton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) is among a record 170 candidates for the 2013 National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, and is thus among the list of semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the top scholar-athlete in college football. The 170 semifinalists represent the most since 2006 when the NFF increased the nomination standards to require a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20.
Lanier, who has earned a 3.43 cumulative grade point as a criminology major at Stonehill, is among 24 nominees from Division II and one of two from the Northeast-10 Conference, along with LIU Post senior Tommy Williams. Lanier earned Capital One Academic All-District I and NE-10 Academic All-Conference honors as a junior and has collected NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll status every semester at the College and Athletic Director's Honor Roll three semesters.
Lanier has started all five games at cornerback for Stonehill this fall and is tied for fifth on the team with 28 tackles (20 solo), including 1.0 for a loss, an interception, pass breakup and fumble recovery. He opened the season with a career-high ten stops (six solo) at No. 16/18 Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, adding 0.5 tackles for loss and a breakup. He added his first career interception in the Skyhawks 30-3 triumph over rival Bentley University, aided a defense which forced four turnovers in the contest.
Lanier has appeared in 36 games over his career at Stonehill and totaled 98 tackles (76 solo), with 2.5 for a loss of five yards, an interception, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He posted a career-best 43 tackles (35 solo) as a junior with 1.5 for a loss for a loss of five, three breakups, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Lanier is a Dean's List student at Stonehill and Edwin Sutherland Criminology Honor Society member. He has worked as a Resident Assistant at the College, is a member of MOSAIC (Male Diversity Club) on campus and is the football team's representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Lanier is a mentor with the Youth Diversion program at the Boys & Girls Club of Brockton and has completed internships with Plymouth County (Mass.) District Attorney's Office, United States Marshals Service and Burlington County (N.J.) Superior Courthouse.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete 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.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
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 $10.4 million.
Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The William V. Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.
Stonehill (3-2, 3-1 NE-10) sits in a three-way tie for second place in the Northeast-10 standings and will face one of the other 3-1 teams this weekend when it makes its first two back to back trips to New Haven, Conn., to face Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m.