Virginia HBCUs Make History in Draddy Awards

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: October 18, 2007
PHILADELPHIA — If you never see the names Andre Twine or Theodore Washington on an NFL roster, it could be because they may have more important things to do.
Twine, a cornerback out of Norfolk State University, and Washington, a linebacker from Virginia State University, are among a list of 153 semifinalists for the 2007 Draddy Trophy.
The trophy, presented by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame, recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.

“The NFF is extremely proud of this year’s group of semifinalists,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell, in a prepared statement. “Their substantial commitment to academic excellence, athletic prowess and community service is commendable, and it is our responsibility to honor them for their dedication on and off the playing field. These players are the greatest illustration of how we hope to build leaders through football.”

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, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a //<![CDATA[ Manhattanu003c/span>u003cspan> Collegeu003c/span> quarterback who developed the u003cb>u003ci>Izodu003c/i>u003c/b> and u003cb>u003ci>Lacosteu003c/i>u003c/b> brands, the award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and an $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.u003cbr> u003cbr> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Matthew Michalec, Sports Information Director at Norfolk State, was elated upon hearing that Twine, a history major, had made the list of semifinalists.u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>”We are very proud of Andre,” said Michalec. “He was twice awarded our school’s Calvin Gibson award, which is given to the student with the highest GPA in the department prior to his senior year.” u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Twine, at 5’8″ and 170, is one of the Spartans best defenders, carries a 3.51 GPA and also serves on the student/athlete advisory committee. u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Peggy Davis, athletic director at Virginia State University, was pleasantly surprised upon hearing the news that Washington, a 3.325 GPA graduate student who majors in sports management, had made the cut. “We are veryn excited about Mr. Washington,” said Davis. “He epitomizes what a student-athlete is and represents the type of young man our coaches seek to recruit.”u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Washingtonu003c/span>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>, a pre-season CIAA selection at linebacker, is sixth on the team in tackles, with five for lost yardage, as well as a sack and two recovered fumbles. The 6’2″ 225 linebacker also tackles helping the homeless, having participated in several efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Nominees hail from all u003cspan>NCAAu003c/span> divisions and the NAIA, including a record 67 contenders from the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A).”,1] ); //–> //]]> Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.

Matthew Michalec, Sports Information Director at Norfolk State, was elated upon hearing that Twine, a history major, had made the list of semifinalists.
“We are very proud of Andre,” said Michalec. “He was twice awarded our school’s Calvin Gibson award, which is given to the student with the highest GPA in the department prior to his senior year.”
Twine, at 5-feet-8 and 170 pounds, is one of the Spartans best defenders, carries a 3.51 GPA and also serves on the student/athlete advisory committee.
Peggy Davis, athletic director at Virginia State University, was pleasantly surprised upon hearing the news that Washington, a 3.325 GPA graduate student who majors in sports management, had made the cut. “We are very excited about Mr. Washington,” said Davis. “He epitomizes what a student-athlete is and represents the type of young man our coaches seek to recruit.”
Washington, a pre-season CIAA selection at linebacker, is sixth on the team in tackles, with five for lost yardage, as well as a sack and two recovered fumbles. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker also tackles helping the homeless, having participated in several efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.
Nominees hail from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, including a record 67 contenders from the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A).

//<![CDATA[ u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>Hillary Jeffries, NFF Special Projects Director, acknowledged the HBCU selections were firsts. “I would have to double-check this,” said Jeffries, “but as I ascertain it right now, either Mr. Twine or Mr. Washington would be the first from an HBCU if selected.”u003cbr> u003cbr> The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists onn Oct. 25. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2007 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”> u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cdiv>u003cspan styleu003d”color:black”>The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 4 at the prestigious Waldorf -Astoria hotel in u003cspan>New York Cityu003c/span>. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.u003c/span>u003cspan>u003c/span>u003c/div> u003cbr>u003cbr>u003cbr>”,0] ); D(["ce"]); //–> //]]>

Hillary Jeffries, NFF Special Projects Director, acknowledged the HBCU selections were firsts. “I would have to double-check this,” said Jeffries, “but as I ascertain it right now, either Mr. Twine or Mr.

Washington would be the first from an HBCU if selected.”

The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 25. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2007 National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.

The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF’s Annual Awards Dinner on December 4 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. A total distribution of more than $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.