NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The honors continue to keep rolling in for senior place-kicker Long Ding of the Norwich University football team. After already being selected as a candidate for the National Football Foundation's annual National Scholar-Athlete Awards on Thursday, Ding was also named a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award, which honors excellence in place-kicking and the community on Friday.
Ding (Qing Dao, China) is one of 127 candidates across all levels of college football ranging from Division I, II, III and NAIA schools that are competing for up to 16 post-graduate scholarships that are awarded to the nation's top college football players, on and off the field.
Each recipient receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which is annually given to the top college football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored Dec. 6 during the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports.
One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.
Candidates are nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each. Candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. 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.
Ding is one just 30 Division III players to be selected as a candidate. Gallaudet's Caleb Hinton, who is also a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, is a candidate as well.
Past recipients of the prestigious Campbell Trophy include current NFL stars Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Tim Tebow.
To view the full release from the National Football Foundation, click here.
Ding is one of 42 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Award across all levels of college football ranging from Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA schools. He is one of eight from Division III schools. The winner will be announced in mid-December.
The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting place-kicker, Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Famer, author, philanthropist and Chicago Tribune sports columnist.
Ding currently ranks second on the team in scoring with 18 points from two of four field goals and 12 of 12 PAT's. He has made 24 consecutive PAT's dating back to last season and scored seven points in 38-20 win over Becker on Sept. 24. Ding is averaging 44 yards on 19 kickoffs and is a volunteer Academic Mentor on campus.