AU's Ashton Richardson finalist for FCA Bobby Bowden Award

University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley, Auburn University linebacker Ashton Richardson and Ohio State University defensive end John Simon have been named finalists for the 2012 Bobby Bowden Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision player who best epitomizes a student-athlete.

The award is named for former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, and conceived by former Bowden assistant coach Vince Gibson, who died in 2012 from Lou Gehrig's disease, and Vernon Brinson, who played for Coach Bowden at South Georgia College in the 1950s. The award is sponsored by Jon Khachaturian owner of Versabar, "The Power of Engineering Delivered."

In order to be nominated for the Bobby Bowden Award, a player must conduct himself as a faith role model in the classroom, on the field, on the campus and in the community. Nominees must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and have the backing of their school's athletics director and head football coach.

Barkley is a four-year starter at USC and has been named the 2012 Wuerffel Award winner. He is also listed as a finalist for the Manning Award. Barkley carries a 3.2 GPA as a communications major.

Richardson is a senior and a three year letter winner at Auburn. Richardson is a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a three-time member of the All-SEC honor roll. He owns a 3.95 GPA in equine studies.

Simon is a four-year starter for the Buckeyes. He was on the watch list for the Lombardi Award, the Nagurski Award and the Bednarik Award, and owns a 3.0 GPA in sports and leisure studies.

The 2012 Bobby Bowden Award winner will be announced at the FCA Bowl Championship Series site in Miami on January 4, 2013. Past winners are:

Year        Winner                                   Institution

2003        Jason Wright                           Northwestern University

2004        Billy Bajema                            Oklahoma State University

2005        D. J. Shockley                         University of Georgia

2006        Carl Pendleton                         University of Oklahoma

2007        Jacob Tamme                         University of Kentucky

2008        Stephen McGee                      Texas A&M

2009        Colt McCoy                             University of Texas

2010        Christian Ponder                      Florida State University

2011        Case Keenum                         Univeristy of Houston

2012 Nominees              Institution

Matt Barkley                   University of Southern California

Copper Bassett               Oklahoma State Univeristy

Steve Bigach                  University of Iowa

Justin Blanchford            Univeristy of Nebraska

Dylan Breeding                Univeristy of Arkansas

Lyle Dankenbring             University of Central Florida

Akeem Davis                  University of Memphis

Seth Doege                     Texas Tech University

Nick Florance                  Baylor University

Justin Green                   University of Illinois

Ben Pike                        Toledo

Sean Renfree                  Duke Univeristy

Ashton Richardson          Auburn University

Andrew Ritter                  University of Mississippi

John Simon                    Ohio State University

Luke Stansfield               Western Kentucky Univeristy

Tucker Tipton                  Air Force

Cody Wilson                    Central Michigan

Corico Wright                  Clemson University

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Dept.