Montana Grizzly Footballer nominated for Academic Heisman

(photo courtesy of the University of Montana)

The National Football Foundation announced Wednesday that Montana offensive tackle Dylan Cook has been named a semi-finalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, known as the “Academic Heisman.”

Associate Senior Director of Athletics Jean Gee, who oversees much of the academic progress and achievement of various sports at the University of Montana, spoke to KGVO News about the honor bestowed on Cook.

“I like first of all that they call it Academic Heisman, and that they have an award like this and that they really focus on the academic achievements of the student-athletes and in particular with this one. for one of our football student-athletes, ”Gee said.

Gee described the process of nominating a student-athlete for such a prestigious award.

“As schools nominate people, they must be football student-athletes who are in their final year of eligibility and they must have a GPA of 3.2 or above,” she said. “While this is a focus on the academics, they must also have had some really outstanding athletic achievements, so it’s just a good representation of the college athlete all around.”

On the pitch, Cook has been an integral part of Montana’s prolific offense since becoming the starter in 2019. In calendar year 2021, Cook and the Grizzly offense have dominated their last five opponents (two games of spring and a victory over No. 20 Washington included) by an incredible 201-31, averaging over 40 points per game.

Gee, who works closely with student athletes to help them achieve their academic goals, said Cook’s accomplishments are extraordinary.

“Especially with my background, it makes my heart so proud as it focuses on academics,” she said. “It just goes to show that we’re doing it right and that our coaches are recruiting players here who can take care of business in the classroom and on the pitch. And giving this honor to one of our student-athletes is just proof of that. This is the data that proves that is exactly what we are doing here.

Gee has watched other Grizzly football players who have been nominated for the Campbell Trophy in the past.

“Derrick Crittenden has to go to New York and go to dinner,” she said. “He didn’t win in the end. “Dave Dickenson was a finalist. Dante Olson was a finalist. And then when we go back even further to Josh Brennan then Vincent Huntzberger who were finalists.

The foundation will announce 12-14 finalists for the Campbell Trophy on October 27, and each of them will receive an $ 18,000 graduate scholarship as a member of the 2021 NFF College Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments.

The finalists will travel to the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas for the 63rd Annual NFF Awards Dinner (formerly New York) on December 7, where their accomplishments will be showcased in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all the sports.

Live during the event, a member of the class will be declared the winner of the 32nd Campbell Trophy and their graduate scholarship will be increased to $ 25,000.

Cook is now on the training ground and preparing to play in Eastern Washington on Saturday night on the red turf field known as “The Inferno,” a field the Grizzlies have never won.

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