DALLAS – Gallaudet University football seniors Kevin Berrigan (Frederick, Md.) and Denton Mallas (South Milwaukee, Wis.) were named to the National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade point average (GPA) or better throughout their college career.
A total of 703 players from 259 schools qualified for membership in the society's seventh year, marking the highest school participation in the history of the program, which began in 2007. Berrigan and Mallas are the only representatives from the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) on the list. The GU pair joins the likes of recent National Football League (NFL) draft selections Barrett Jones from Alabama, Manti Te'o from Notre Dame and Matt Barkley from USC.
Gallaudet now has three honorees to be selected to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society as the duo joins Caleb Hinton (2012), who was honored last year.
"I am excited for Kevin and Denton for earning this tremendous honor," said Gallaudet head football coach Chuck Goldstein. "This is an excellent way to cap off an outstanding career for the two of them at Gallaudet. Anytime you have the chance to recognize a student-athlete on their academic accomplishment it is special. This adds to the foundation of the program we are building."
Berrigan is a two-year letterwinner in football at Gallaudet, the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. He started and played in 10 games for the Bison at wide receiver. He was the second-leading receiver with 13 receptions for 186 yards, one touchdown, averaged 18.6 yards per catch and had a season long of 28 yards on one catch. Berrigan earned ECFC All-Academic honors this past February for maintaining a GPA over 3.30.
Mallas, a four-year letterwinner in football, has been named to the ECFC All-Academic team three consecutive years. In September 2012, he was selected as a NFF National Scholar-Athlete Candidate, only the third ever Bison to receive that honor in program history. This past season he played in nine of the 10 games as the Bison went 7-3 overall and 5-2 in ECFC play. He made four tackles (three solos) and started one game for the buff and blue.
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 4,081 student-athletes since its inception.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as a chairman emeritus. Each player, awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"We have honored more than 4,000 student-athletes in the last seven years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, "We are humbled by his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."