ASU's Taylor earns scholar-award nod

Posted: November 2, 2017 at 2:32 a.m.

Arkansas State University’s Blaise Taylor was announced Wednesday as one of 13 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

Blaise Taylor's master's degree already is paying off.

The senior cornerback at Arkansas State University was announced Wednesday as one of 13 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, given to the "absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation."

William V. Campbell Trophy nominees

Scholar-athlete;Position;School;GPA;Major

Blaise Taylor;CB;Arkansas State;3.84;Business Administration

Sam Benger;RB;Carnegie Mellon (Pa.);3.67;Business Administration

Braxton Berrios;WR;Miami;3.96;Finance and Entrepreneurship

Mason Hampton;C;Boise State;3.97;Accounting

Justin Jackson;RB;Northwestern;3.23;Economics

Micah Kiser;LB;Virginia;3.42;Foreign Affairs

Justin Lea;OL;Jacksonville State;3.92;Emergency Management and Geography

Brad Lundblade;C;Oklahoma State;3.88;Marketing

Marcus Martin;DE;Slippery Rock (Pa.);3.56;Safety Management

Chandon Sullivan;DB;Georgia State;3.84;Journalism

Marlon Walls;S;Stephen F. Austin;4.00;Engineering Physics

Chris Weber;LB;Nebraska;3.96;Nutrition Science

Jake Wieneke;WR;South Dakota State;3.63;Physical/Teacher Education

All finalists will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Class, and they will travel to New York for the NFF awards dinner Dec. 5, when the winner will be announced.

The winner's scholarship will be increased to $25,000.

"I'm really excited and humbled," said Taylor, who earned his bachelor's and master's before the start of his true senior season. "It's a big honor being recognized as a finalist with so much prestige."

Past winners include former NFL quarterbacks Steve Young and Peyton Manning, and current New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Taylor is the second ASU player to be named to the NFF's Scholar-Athlete Class. Former quarterback Tim Langford received the scholarship in 1983.

"That paid for my first year of med school," said Langford, now a physician at Little Rock's Arkansas Urology. "I think [Taylor's] a great person. His football achievements are certainly better than mine were.

"To get two degrees is amazing. And the community outreach he does with kids. I'm just in awe with what he's been able to do."

Honorees such as Taylor have used the financial support to earn more than 150 medical degrees, 100 law degrees, 80 MBAs and 43 PhDs, according to NFF.

More than 200 have played in the NFL, and past recipients include 13 Rhodes Scholars.

Taylor earned his MBA in business administration. He said he aspires to start his own sports agency after his playing career.

"This is a monumental honor for Blaise and his family, the football team and Arkansas State University," ASU Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said in a written statement.

The winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy will be honored at the New York Athletic Club on Dec. 6, the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 7, and on the field during the national championship game Jan. 8.

Sports on 11/02/2017