IRVING, Texas – Elon University freshman wide receiver Sam R. Smith has been named one of 35 finalists for the 2017 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards, as announced by the NFF on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The awards will honor one student-athlete from each of five regions based on their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens at the high school level.
All finalists are 2017 high school graduates who are currently playing college football. They had an average GPA of 4.1 Smith is one of 13 finalists that are currently attending an FCS school. Twelve finalists attend FBS schools, while 10 attend Division II, III or NAIA schools or junior colleges. Smith was nominated by the NFF National Capital Region (D.C.) Chapter.
Smith was a second-team VISAA Division 1 All-State honoree in 2015 and was an honorable mention recipient of that honor in 2014. His performance helped lead his Bishop Ireton prep squad to back-to-back state runner-up finishes in 2014-15. Off the field, Smith earned The Marguerite Scafati Academic Award in 2017 and was the recipient of the 2016 Saint Michael’s College Book Award for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience.
A national committee will select the five honorees, with the announcement scheduled for Oct. 4.
The five NFF Chapter Scholar-Athletes will be honored during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The 2017 season marks the 27th year of NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards.
With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members, the NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 5,000 high schools in 47 states each year. The centerpiece of their efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation’s top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships.