Tyler Lockett will attend an awards ceremony that he has long dreamed of on Tuesday evening in New York.
Lockett, a Kansas State senior wide receiver, is one of 16 finalists for the Campbell Trophy, an honor that takes into account a college football player’s achievements both on the field and in the classroom. It is commonly referred to as the “Academic Heisman Trophy.”
As a finalist, Lockett will attend an awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria and receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. He could also win a piece of hardware that he considers more prestigious than any other award.
“To be nominated for the ‘Academic Heisman’ is not just about athletics. It is everything all rolled into one,” Lockett said. “For me, just to be up for that award with a lot of great players is an honor. I heard one of the (previous winners) took 27 hours in a semester. The one who won last year was a teacher and still played football. To hear about the accomplishments these players have had, it just says a lot to be in the running.”
The awards trip helped Lockett quickly move past the disappointment of being passed over for other national awards, including the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation’s top receiver.
Some thought Lockett did enough to be named a finalist for that award after piling up 93 catches for 1,351 yards and nine touchdowns this season. But he didn’t make it past the semifinalist stage. On Monday, he was chosen first-team All-Big 12 at receiver by The Associated Press.
But those statistics combined with a 3.24 cumulative GPA in business management made him a candidate for the Campbell Trophy. He had a 3.43 GPA during the 2013-14 academic year and is set to graduate later this month.
The thought of one day winning the Campbell Trophy helped him put in long study hours after days filled with football commitments. He has also made time to become a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and put in community service.
For those reasons, Tuesday will be a night he will cherish.
“When I got closer to my senior year I had a chance to go up for it,” Lockett said, “and my dad was telling me it’s something I should put as a goal. When I was in school I was trying to put myself in the best position to win it. I was struggling at first, but I ended up coming on strong and got over the hump. It really is an honor to now be up for the award.”
Finney a Rimington finalist
B.J. Finney is one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, presented to the top center in college football.
Finney, a senior Kansas State offensive lineman from Andale, Kan., is the first K-State player to be named a finalist for the award since Nick Leckey in 2003. He is joined by other finalists Jack Allen of Michigan State, David Andrews of Georgia, Reese Dismukes of Auburn, Andy Gallike of Boston College and Hroniss Grasu from Oregon.
A three-time candidate for the honor, Finney has been a staple of K-State’s offensive line for four straight years. He has started 51 games and been honored as an all-conference player in three straight seasons.
The Rimington Trophy will be presented during the ESPNU Red Carpet Show on Thursday, preceding the ESPN Home Depot College Football Award Show. The winner will be recognized at a presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb. on Jan. 17.