Burkhead, Ward win scholar-athlete award

Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead and Northwestern offensive lineman Patrick Ward have been recognized as two of the top scholar-athletes in the country by the National Football Foundation.

They are part of a 15-member class of finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the top scholar-athlete from all NCAA divisions. By being named finalists, Burkhead and Ward each won $18,000 postgraduate scholarships.

Burkhead, a history major, has a 3.43 GPA and has been recognized for his work off the field. This year, he was chosen as the winner of the Uplifting Athletes’ National Rare Disease Champion Award for his relationship with young fan Jack Hoffman. He was also one of 11 FBS players named to the 2012 AFCA Good Works Team.

Ward, who has started 34 consecutive games on Northwestern's offensive line, has a 3.94 GPA in mechanical engineering. He was a first-team Capital One Academic All-American in 2011 and a two-time recipient of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and academic All-Big Ten awards.

Burkhead, Ward and the other finalists will be honored at a banquet in New York City on December 4. They will also be eligible to win the Campbell Trophy, which comes with an additional $7,000 in scholarship money.

Congratulations to both players on this outstanding accomplishment.