Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
California center Alex Mack isn't just the nation's best center. He's the nation's smartest center.
At least that's the conclusion reached by the National Football Foundation when it annouced its 15-member class of National Scholar Athletes on Wednesday.
This isn't just a slip of paper. The honor includes an $18,000 fellowship that can be used for postgraduate studies
Mack and his other honorees are also finalists for the prestigious Draddy Trophy -- the academic Heisman.
The Scholar-Athlete Awards program consists of graduate fellowships that are awarded on an annual basis to a select group of college football players in their senior year of eligibility who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, exemplary community leadership and superior football performance.
Mack and the others were selected from a pool of 164 semifinalists from all divisions of play. In addition to the fellowship money, they will each travel all-expenses paid to New York to attend the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9 at the Waldorf- Astoria.
Here is the list of finalists:
• ALEX MACK, C - California
• ANDREW BERRY, CB - Harvard
• RYAN BERRY, QB - South Dakota State
• CHASE DANIEL, QB - Missouri
• BRIAN FREEMAN, OT - Carnegie Mellon (Pa.)
• CASEY GERALD, CB - Yale
• GRAHAM HARRELL, QB - Texas Tech
• QUIN HARRIS, LB - Louisiana Tech
• JEFF HORINEK, LB - Colorado State
• RYAN KEES, DE - St. Cloud State (Minn.)
• RYAN McDONALD, OL - Illinois
• GREG MICHELI, QB - Mount Union (Ohio)
• DARRYL RICHARD, DT - Georgia Tech
• BRIAN ROBISKIE, WR - Ohio State
• LOUIE SAKODA, P/K - Utah