Another honor has been given to Iowa linebacker James Morris. And this one is pretty prestigious.
The senior from Solon, Iowa, has been named a 2013 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete, according to the NFF College Hall of Fame on Thursday.
The 16 honorees comprise the list of finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar-athlete in the nation. The list was selected from a pool of 171 semifinalists among all NCAA divisions and the NAIA.
Morris and the rest of the national scholar-athletes will travel to New York City to be honored on Dec. 10. Each athlete also receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, while the Campbell Trophy recipient also is given an extra $7,000 in postgraduate funds.
“It’s a fantastic honor for James,” said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “The group of people who are recognized at that dinner is unbelievable; guys that are committed to being excellent football players, excellent students, and that fits James. He has been a pleasure to have in our program. He has been a model football player, leader, and student. We’re happy for James and his family.”
Morris is the sixth Iowa football student-athlete to be named a NFF National Scholar-Athlete, joining John Charles Hendricks, Bob Elliott, Mike Flagg, Derek Rose and Mike Klinkenborg.
“We’ve always believed it’s possible to excel in both athletics and academics, and our guys would be the first to tell you they get great support from our academic student services people,” said Ferentz. “It’s like being a good football player, ultimately the students have to do the work. They are the ones that go to class and spend time on the papers and exams. At the end of the day it’s a credit to the guys being honored. He has been committed to his studies, and nobody is more committed to football. It’s another example that it is possible to do both things well.”
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound senior Morris has been in the Hawkeye starting lineup since his freshman year. He ranks eighth in career tackles and this week was honored by both the Big Ten Conference and the Lott IMPACT Trophy as defensive Player of the Week.
Morris named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy
Another honor was given to Morris this week when the senior from Solon, Iowa, was named one of 20 quarterfinalists for the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy. The announcement came Wednesday by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
Eight semifinalists for the award will be announced Nov. 13 and four finalists will be announced Nov. 27. The winner will be announced at the 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Banquet, Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif. The winner will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund, while each of the other finalists will receive $5,000 for their schools’ general scholarship fund.
The quarterfinal list includes 11 linebackers, seven defensive backs and two defensive linemen. Morris is one of five Big Ten Conference players among the quarterfinalists.
Iowa (5-3, 2-2) hosts Wisconsin on Saturday (11:01 a.m. BTN) in Kinnick Stadium.
Tickets remain for both remaining home games in Kinnick Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at hawkeyesports.com, by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, or in person at the UI athletics ticket office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.