Oct. 31, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough, a second-team Academic All-America honoree last season and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has been named to the 2013 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Class. Based upon his selection, Bullough also becomes one of 16 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation. Each Campbell Trophy finalist will be presented an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship at the 56th annual NFF Awards Dinner, scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.
The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. Nominated by their respective schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade-point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player 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.
Bullough becomes the sixth NFF National Scholar-Athlete in Michigan State history and the first since quarterback Kirk Cousins earned the honor in 2011. A finance major, Bullough currently owns a 3.56 GPA.
Selected from a nationwide pool of 171 student-athletes, representing all NCAA divisions as well as the NAIA, the 16-member class also includes: Northwest Missouri State quarterback Trevor Adams, John Hopkins safety John Arena, Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard, Nebraska offensive lineman Spencer Long, Coastal Carolina wide receiver Niccolo Mastromatteo, Cornell quarterback Jeff Matthews, Iowa linebacker James Morris, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, Duke offensive tackle Perry Simmons, Texas San-Antonio quarterback Eric Soza, Penn State offensive guard John Urschel, West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan, Appalachian State wide receiver Tony Washington and Augustana linebacker Eric Westerberg.
Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, a 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 a $7,000 increase in postgraduate funds for a total scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $10.4 million.
"We are extremely proud to present the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "With an average GPA of 3.79, these young men have a discernible and unrelenting commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. This class represents all that is right about college football, and the members serve as living examples of our mission to build leaders through football."
"Jack Ford and 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 winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "Selected from a record number of semifinalists, this group should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best football players and students in the country. Each of these men is also a leader in his respective community, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential."
"We congratulate Max Bullough on his academic and athletic achievements," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "It's rare for a defensive player to become the face of a football program but that is the case for Max. He is an outstanding leader who represents the ideal scholar-athlete. From the day he first set foot on campus, Max has pursued excellence in the classroom and on the playing field."
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Bullough ranks among the team's leaders in tackles (tied for second with 47), quarterback hurries (second with seven), tackles for loss (third with 6.5) and production points (fourth with 131). The two-time captain is one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Bullough was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high 10 tackles in Michigan State's 14-0 win over Purdue on Oct. 19, with two resulting in losses including a 7-yard sack that produced a fumble that senior Denicos Allen recovered and returned 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Bullough reached double-figure tackles for the seventh time in his career.
Bullough has led the Spartans in tackles the past two seasons (89 in 2011; career-high 111 in 2012). He was re-elected as team captain in 2013 and is just the third Spartan to be named a captain at least twice in the Dantonio era (Greg Jones, 2009-10; Cousins, 2009-11).
The Traverse City, Mich., native has 270 career tackles in 48 games, including a team-high 35 consecutive starts. He ranks tied for 15th in MSU history with 27.5 tackles for loss (94 yards) in his career, including 7.5 sacks (48 yards), and also has 11 passes defended (three interceptions, eight pass break-ups) and four forced fumbles.