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October 29, 2009

2009 Season - Westemeyer one of 16 NFF winners

Blaine Westemeyer

Blaine Westemeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kansas) has earned so many honors, both academically and athletically, during his career at Augustana that is doesn’t seem possible that there can be any accomplishment that he hasn’t already won. Today, one of those awards came through as the talented offensive tackle has been awarded an $18,000.00 postgraduate scholarship by the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame.

Westemeyer is one of just 16 players selected from across the nation named as a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth. Selected as the best and the brightest from the college gridiron, from a nationwide pool of 154 semifinalists among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, the 16 members of the 2009 class are:

JON ASAMOAH - OG - University of Illinois - 3.82
MATT BAUMAN - LB - Brigham Young University - 3.91
ERIC DECKER - WR - University of Minnesota - 3.42
MOSES HARRIS - S - Fresno State - 3.56
TIM HILLER - QB - Western Michigan University - 4.00
PAUL JASINOWSKI - DT - Brown University - 3.70
BEAU KILDOW - WR - Morningside College (Iowa) - 4.00
JOSH MAHONEY - LB - University of Northern Iowa - 4.00
COLT McCOY - QB - University of Texas - 3.33
JARRELL NeSMITH - TE - Tusculum College (Tenn.) - 3.84
JOE PAWELEK - LB - Baylor University - 3.71
TODD REESING - QB - University of Kansas - 3.64
ZaVIOUS ROBBINS - WR - Hardin- Simmons University (Texas) - 3.90
TIM TEBOW - QB - University of Florida - 3.66
BLAINE WESTEMEYER - OT - Augustana College (Ill.) - 3.93
REED WILLIAMS - LB - West Virginia University - 3.86

"There is no doubt that this year's class of NFF National Scholar-Athletes is one of the greatest of all time," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "Mediocrity is not in their lexicon in any aspect of their lives. They have exhibited the same drive to compete in the classroom that distinguished them on the field, and they have found the time to be leaders in their communities too. We will be very excited and proud to name one of these extraordinary young men the recipient of the 20th Anniversary William V. Campbell Trophy on Dec. 8."

Westemeyer is one of just two players from NCAA Division III (the other is ZaVious Robbins of Hardin-Simmons) to win this honor. A four year starter at offensive tackle, Westemeyer is a big reason why the Vikings consistently rank in the top 10 in NCAA Division III in rushing offense. He has been selected first team all-conference in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin each of the last two years. As a junior he was picked to the first team of the ESPN – The Magazine Academic All-American team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Twice he has been named to the Academic All-District team by CoSIDA. He has also been a three time academic all-conference pick.

“There is no doubt that Blaine is the epitome of what a college student-athlete should be,” said Augustana head coach Jim Barnes. “He excels in every facet of college life: academics, athletics and leadership. We are grateful for his contributions to Augustana and we share in the joy of winning this honor.”

In 2008 he was named to the NCAA Division III All-American team by the American Football Coaches Association. He was also selected to the all-North Region team by for the second consecutive year. He was the winner of the Jack Swartz Award by the CCIW following the 2008 campaign and he serves as a team captain this fall.

The Vikings are currently 4-3 on the season heading into Saturday’s College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin game at North Park in Chicago. So far this year Augustana is averaging 22.9 points and 308.7 yards of total offense per game (178.0 rushing and 130.7 passing). Westemeyer was named to every pre-season All-American football team during the summer of 2009.

Westemeyer is a biochemistry/pre-medicine major with a sterling grade point average of 3.94. He is the son of Brian and Nancy Westemeyer of Overland Park, Kansas. He was the Vikings freshman offensive MVP in 2006. Westemeyer is an active member of the Student Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) and Athletes-Giving-Back (A.G.B.).

Augustana has had three previous winners of the National Football Foundation Scholarship. The first winner was Chris Meskan (Aledo HS, Aledo, Ill.), an offensive guard, in 1998. He was followed by Mackenzie Hay (Polo HS, Polo, Ill.), an offensive guard/center in 2000. Todd Baldwin (Aledo HS, Aledo, Ill.), a defensive back was the last Viking recipient of the prestigious honor in 2002.

The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in the history to award scholar-athletes post graduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year's class members finds themselves in good company, as former National Scholar-Athletes include NFL standout Derrick Brooks (Florida State); actor Mark Harmon (UCLA); NASA astronaut Leland Melvin (Richmond); former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips (Yale); chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia); famed NFL quarterback Steve Young (BYU); and Heisman Trophy winners Terry Baker (Oregon State), Gary Beban (UCLA), Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Danny Wuerffel (Florida).

Nominated by their 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. Selected by the NFF Awards Committee, the 16 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients will be honored at the 2009 NFF Annual Awards Dinner December 8 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. The event will also include the induction of the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame and the presentation of several major awards.

"The 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class boasts the highest average GPA in the history of our awards," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell winner) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are truly the best of the best among all college sports and the epitome of our mission to build leaders through football. Bob Mulcahy and the NFF Awards Committee should be credited for the research, time and commitment it took to select this outstanding group."

Each finalist will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship, and one of the 16 will be announced as the recipient of the 20th Anniversary William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth (and formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar- athlete in the nation. Renamed this fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, 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 $25,000 post- graduate scholarship. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Notes

• 3.77 Average GPA, including three class members with a perfect 4.00 GPA
• 16-of-16 Team Captains
• 14-of-16 Academic All-Conference Athletes
• 14-of-16 All-Conference Athletes
• Seven ESPN The Magazine Academic All- America Selections (Bauman, Mahoney, NeSmith, Pawelek, Tebow, Westemeyer, Williams)
• Six All-America Picks (Kildow, McCoy, NeSmith, Pawelek, Tebow, Westemeyer)
• One Heisman Trophy Winner (Tebow)
• Five National Major Awards Won (McCoy, Tebow)
• Three Bowl Game MVPs (McCoy -- Alamo, Holiday and Tostitos Fiesta, Tebow -- FedEx BCS National Championship, Williams -- Tostitos Fiesta)
• Five Members of Nationally Ranked Teams (Kildow, Mahoney, McCoy, Tebow, Williams)
• Eight Members of Conference Championship Teams (Bauman, Jasinowski, Kildow, Mahoney, NeSmith, Tebow, Westemeyer, Williams)
• Three Members of National Playoff Teams (Kildow, Mahoney, NeSmith)
• Ten Offensive Players (Asamoah, Decker, Hiller, Kildow, McCoy, NeSmith, Reesing, Robbins, Tebow, Westemeyer)
• Six Defensive Players (Bauman, Harris, Jasinowski, Mahoney, Pawelek, Williams)