IRVING, Texas - Senior Nathan Packard of the Austin College football team was named to the National Football Foundation Honor Society on Tuesday afternoon. Packard is among 838 college football student-athletes from 267 schools recognized by the group. Complete Release from National Football Foundation
The honor society recognizes student-athletes who excel on the football field, in the classroom, and in the community.
Packard, a senior on the 'Roo football team, compiled 60 tackles
this past year including two sacks, sevens tackles for loss, one
interception, and one fumble recovery to lead Austin College to a
5-5 record, their best record since 2008.
Designed to highlight football's unique ability to develop tomorrow's brightest leaders, The NFF Hampshire Honor Society honors the college football players from all divisions of play who each maintain a 3.2 GPA or better during their collegiate careers.
“We continue to raise the bar each year for the number of student-athletes who qualify for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hampshire Honor Society plays an important role in highlighting that college football players clearly play a leadership role in the classroom as well as on the playing field. We congratulate each of these young men for their commitment to excellence.”
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF’s current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,927 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007. The 2014 class of 838 players represents a new high water mark for members, eclipsing the old record mark by 117 student-athletes.
As NFF Chairman, Hanson transformed the organization with initiatives that included launching Play It Smart, the NFF's highly successful youth mentoring program for at-risk kids; spearheading an endowment campaign for the NFF's prestigious National Scholar-Athlete Awards; and instituting the Divisional Hall of Fame program, which provides for induction of coaches and players from the divisional ranks of college football.
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.4 million to 787 top scholars and community leaders.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:
- Being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university;
- Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and
- Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.