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Football

Dean lands on William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist list

IRVING, Texas — UTSA senior Lucas Dean has landed on the semifinalist list for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy®, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award, as announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) on Wednesday.

Dean is one of 201 semifinalists for the award and this marks the seventh consecutive year that a Roadrunner has made the semifinalist list. Ahofitu Maka was a finalist a year ago, while Hunter Duplessis (2020, ’21), Andrew Martel (2019), Yannis Routsas (2018) and Brady Jones (2017) all were semifinalists. Additionally, Nate Leonard was a finalist in 2014 and Eric Soza made the final cut the year prior.

“These 201 impressive candidates truly represent the scholar-athlete ideal,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy® winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “During the past seven decades, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards have recognized 906 college football players who excelled as the best our great sport has to offer. This year's semifinalists build on the tradition, further illustrating the power of football to develop the next generation of influential leaders.” 

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 playing 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.

"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees as well as their schools and coaches on their tremendous accomplishments," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to highlight each semifinalist's achievements, showcasing their ability to balance academics and athletics at the highest level. The NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the finalists from this outstanding group of candidates."

Dean posted a 3.87 GPA while earning his bachelor’s degree in economics and he is currently working toward his master’s degree in business administration. A two-time College Sports Communicators Academic All-District selection, he has earned four Conference USA Academic Medals for a 3.75-or-better GPA and has landed on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times. The 2021 C-USA All-Academic Team pick has made the UTSA President’s List for a 4.0 semester GPA twice, and he has landed on the Dean’s List (3.75+ semester GPA) three times and the Honor Roll (3.5+ semester GPA) twice.

On the field, Dean has developed into one of the nation’s top punters during his career. He earned a pair of All-America certificates and was named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year in 2020. The Dunsborough, Australia, native has collected all-conference accolades three times, including first team in 2020 and second team in each of the past two seasons. A member of the Ray Guy Award watch list, he owns the UTSA career punting average record (43.8) and seven of the eight longest punts in program annals.

Dean also is heavily involved in community service efforts. He has volunteered his time with UTSA Move-In, Celebrity Fan Fest, CANtoberfest, UTSA Day of Service and the San Antonio Food Bank. He also is a member of the football team’s leadership council as a representative for the specialists.

The award recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership, and the candidates also comprise the pool of nominees for the 2023 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments.

The 201 semifinalists have been nominated by their schools as the best all-around student-athlete on their respective football teams. Each nominee 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 candidates come from all levels of play in the NCAA and the NAIA.

This year will mark the 65th year of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments, which began in 1959, and the 34th year of the Campbell Trophy®, which was added to the program in 1990. The NFF will announce 12-15 finalists on Oct. 25, and each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2023 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. One of the finalists will be named the winner of the 34th Campbell Trophy® during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5 and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. Click here for more information on the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and click here for more on the Campbell Trophy®.

-UTSA-