TUSCALOOA, Ala. – Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy was selected as a recipient of the 2010 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Award Thursday.
McElroy, a senior from Southlake, Texas, is part of a 16-member class chosen from the 121 semifinalists from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA. He is the sixth player in Alabama history to be selected as a NFF National Scholar-Athlete and the first since Demeco Ryans in 2005.
"Being selected as a National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor," McElroy said. "It is an award that encompasses both my academic and athletic career, and I am blessed and happy to have the opportunity to go to New York and represent the University of Alabama.
"There are so many people I have to thank for this opportunity," McElroy said. "I have to thank our coaching staff for putting me in a position to be successful within the team dynamic, and also allowing me to achieve my goals off the field. I have had such great professors at Alabama who have challenged and driven me to work hard every day to accomplish my goals. I also have to thank Alabama's academic support staff who gave me the best chance to be successful. I want to thank my parents for instilling diligence, perseverance and work ethic in me at a young age. Finally, I have to say thanks to my teammates and the University of Alabama for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime."
McElroy led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and the school's 13th national championship in 2009. After graduating in three years, McElroy is finishing his graduate degree in sports administration this fall, while leading the Crimson Tide to a No. 7 national ranking.
A Rhodes Scholar nominee, McElroy is a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He has qualified for the Dean's List four times and the President's List twice. One of The Sporting News' "20 Smartest Athletes," he was named Alabama's Outstanding Undergraduate Student in marketing and earned the Marketing Senior Gold Certificate.
McElroy was named Most Valuable Player of the 2009 SEC Championship Game in a 32-13 win over then-No. 1 Florida. He has a 21-1 record as a starter and currently ranks fourth nationally with a 150.42 career pass efficiency rating. In 2009 he finished with the lowest interception percentage in school history and second-lowest in SEC history. This season, McElroy has completed 137-of-194 passes for 1,781 yards with 11 touchdowns and was recently named a top-15 candidate for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
McElroy has volunteered with Read Across America, Habitat for Humanity, the West Alabama Food Bank and Hospice of West Alabama. Since 2007, he has been a member of the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is also a member of the UA Athletics and Academics Committee.
"We are ecstatic about the quality of this year's remarkable National Scholar-Athlete class," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "They stand as a testament to our mission of building leaders through football. From top to bottom, this group has established itself as one of the greatest in the 50-plus years of this program, boasting an impressive array of academic and athletic achievements. We look forward to presenting each of them an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship to further their education, as there are no limits to what these young men will accomplish following their football careers."
The NFF's National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in the history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities.
Each finalist will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and one of the 16 will be announced as the recipient of the 21st William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Renamed last fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship, which will be awarded on December 7 at a dinner in New York. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
The 16-member class also includes Texas' Sam Acho, Boston College's Anthony Castonzo, Indiana's Ben Chappell, Columbia's Alex Gross, Stanford's Owen Marecic, California's Mike Mohamed, Bucknell's Travis Nissley, Minnesota-Duluth's Isaac Odim, Florida State's Christian Poner, Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod, Colorado's Nate Solder, Notre Dame's Chris Stewart, Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien, St. Thomas' (Minn.) Ben Wartman and Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski.