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Penn State's Wisniewski among candidates for prestigious Campbell Trophy

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National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame scholar-athlete fellowship nominee

Penn State pre-season All-American Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville) is among the candidates for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s Scholar-Athlete Fellowship and the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), presented to the nation’s premier college football student-athlete.

A three-year starter on the offensive line, Wisniewski is among the Campbell Trophy semifinalists and has an opportunity to become Penn State’s 16th NFF Scholar-Athlete recipient, the last being linebacker Paul Posluszny in 2006.

A starter in 30 of 31 games the past three seasons, Wisniewski owns a superlative 3.91 cumulative grade point average, the squad’s highest mark.

Last month, Wisniewski was selected as one of 11 members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, college football’s pre-eminent Community Service Award. He also has been selected as one of the 30 candidates for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for the 2010 college football season

A senior guard, Wisniewski named a 2010 first team pre-season All-American by Sporting News, Phil Steele's College Football Preview, Athlon and Lindy's Football Preview. He also is on the Watch List for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

Wisniewski earned third team All-America and first team All-Big Ten accolades in 2009, starting all 13 games at center for the Nittany Lions. He moved back to guard this past spring practice, where he started 12 games in 2008, helping Penn State win the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

A secondary education major in the Schreyer Honors College, Wisniewski was selected a 2009 first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American®, as he added to his 2008 second-team honor. Wisniewski will have an opportunity this year to become Penn State's first three-time Academic All-American®.

The talented and highly-motivated Wisniewski is among Penn State’s most accomplished and community service-oriented student-athletes. He has made mission trips to the Dominican Republic during spring break this past March and in the summer of 2009. Wisniewski has participated in the Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB)’s Autism Awareness reading program, THON Make-A-Wish program, Pennsylvania Special Olympics’ State Summer Games, Athletic Directors Leadership Institute, Athletes In Action, Campus Crusade for Christ and tutored local high school students, among his vast array of community service activities.

A U.S. Army All-American at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, Wisniewski has earned a perfect 4.0 GPA the past three semesters and four semesters overall. He spent the 2009-10 academic year student teaching 10th-grade English at State College Area High School.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists 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 trophy was renamed last fall 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 NFF would like to personally congratulate each Campbell Trophy semifinalist for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from among this esteemed group."

The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 15 finalists and announce the results on Thursday, Oct. 28. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, bringing the NFF's all-time scholarship distribution to $9.5 million. ?

Coach Joe Paterno’s squad hosts Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 9 for Penn State’s 91st Homecoming game. The contest will kick at 12:00 p.m. and air on ESPN2, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.

A limited number of tickets, returned by Illinois, are available for the Homecoming game at www.GoPSUsports.com or by calling 914-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

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