Zweifel named Campbell Trophy finalist

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Mike Zweifel Dubuque's Michael Zweifel was named a finalist for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. 

The finalists, who receive the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Awards, will be awarded with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The winner of the Campbell Trophy will get a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship.

The award, once known as the Draddy Trophy, has gone to a Division III player just once, when Washington University's Brandon Roberts won the 2002 award.

This year's class has a 3.81 cumulative GPA. Zweifel has a 3.9.

Head and shoulders the most prolific wide receiver in Division III, Zweifel has used the same work ethic that has produced his on-field success to secure an academic record rivaled by few.

Hailing from Whitewater, Wis., Zweifel is a Dubuque Spartan Achievement Award recipient and a two-time Academic All-Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honoree. He was named the winner of Dubuque's Presidential Academic Student-Athlete Award for the student-athlete with the highest GPA across all sports. 

Zweifel comfortably leads the nation in all major receiving categories with 102 grabs for 1,517 yards and 20 touchdowns, putting him on pace to shatter NCAA Division III single-season records. He leads the country in receptions per game by nearly two grabs per outing (12.75), and holds a 40-yard edge over his closest competitor in receiving yards per game (187.63). He is a two-time Second Team All-American, a 2010 Senior Classic First Team All-American, a 2009 First Team All-West Region, and a three-time All-IIAC honoree. Zweifel led Division III with 152.2 receiving yards per game and placed second with 11.1 catches per game in 2009, and he currently holds nine Dubuque and IIAC records. In one season at UW-River Falls, Zweifel set six single-season records, including the NCAA record for catches by a freshman with 97 receptions.

A team captain as a junior and a senior, Zweifel ranks second among all divisions in career receptions and is just 11 catches away from tying the all-time mark of 436 catches for his career. He trails Scott Pingel of Westminster, Mo. (1996-99) who has overall record along with yardage record at 6,108 yards. Zweifel has 5,581 yards for his career and enters this week tied for 17th in career touchdown receptions with 50 touchdowns.

Zweifel represented all IIAC athletes at the NCAA Student Leadership Conference, and he annually leads the Spartan football team on a community park clean-up effort. A finalist for the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, he is the chair of the Senior Gift committee; has facilitated Kids Athletics Day in the Greater Dubuque community; and has helped with Special Olympian Day on campus. 

"I'm excited for our football team," said coach Stan Zweifel, Michael's father. "It's a direct reflection of success from our team and Michael's individual achievements. Very few people realize how much work he has done in and out of the classroom to win this award which attributes to his accomplishments."

Each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, and one of the 16 will be announced as the 22nd recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University, and the 2004 recipient of the NFFs 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.

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. The 127 semifinalists for the award were announced on Sept. 29, and 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. 

In addition to the presentation of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and the William V. Campbell Trophy, the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will include the induction of the 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the presentation of several major awards, including the organizations highest honor, the Gold Medal, to former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Distinguished American Award to world-renowned heart surgeon Archie Roberts.