Illinois State senior offensive tackle Drew Himmelman  was named one of 12 finalists for the 2020 William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, as announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 19. The Campbell Trophy is college football’s premier scholar-athlete award that annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.

The 12 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2020 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. Later this year, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 31st William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.

“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. As strong leaders in the vein of the trophy’s namesake Bill Campbell, they all serve as living examples that the Future for Football is bright. We are excited to honor their hard work and outstanding leadership with postgraduate scholarships.” 

Himmelman’s résumé at Illinois State places him among the best and brightest in the nation, as he was selected as one of 12 finalists from a record pool of 199 semifinalists nationwide from among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA. The Geneseo native becomes the Redbirds’ fourth NFF National Scholar-Athlete, joining Jeff Hembrough (1981), Dan Hackman (1989), and Adam Waugh (2001).

After graduating in May 2019 with a 3.82 GPA in exercise science, Himmelman currently boasts a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student in kinesiology. The 2019 FCS ADA Academic All-Star is a two-time academic All-MVFC selection, earning first-team honors last season and second-team accolades in 2018. Himmelman is a two-time MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award recipient and a one-time MVFC President’s Council Academic Excellence Award winner. A recipient of the James R. Tague Endowed Scholarship, he is a three-time MVFC Honor Roll member. 

A 2019 First-Team All-American, Himmelman graded out at over 90 percent last season while helping All-American James Robinson record a conference-leading 1,899 rushing yards. The anchor of an offensive unit that averaged 345.8 yards per game of total offense in 2019, he helped lead Illinois State to the FCS Quarterfinals and a No. 7 final ranking. The game captain and three-year starter is a two-time All-MVFC performer, earning first team-honors in 2019 and second-team recognition in 2018. 

A leader in the community, Himmelman has volunteered his time with ISU Women’s Football Camp, Special Olympics of Illinois, 100 Caring Adults (welcoming students back to school), Reading Day at Calvary Christian School, Cedar Ridge Reading Night, Red Ribbon Week (guest speaker), BJHS Lunch, Benjamin Elementary Fridays, First Star, and the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund 110% Donor Dinner.

Submitted by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing 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 NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year’s National Scholar-Athletes,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “Selected from a record number of impressive semifinalists, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is also a leader on and off the field, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”

Including the 2020 Campbell Trophy® finalists, the NFF has honored 878 individuals with National Scholar-Athlete Awards, and this year’s postgraduate scholarships will push the program’s all-time distribution to more than $11.9 million. The honorees have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs, and 43 Ph.Ds. Continuing their excellence on the field, more than 200 recipients have played in the NFL with an average career of six seasons or double the length of a typical NFL player. Past recipients also include 13 Rhodes Scholars and six Heisman Trophy winners.