Montgomery Bowl most valuable player Brady White is the 31st recipient of the William Campbell Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top scholar-athlete.
The Memphis quarterback became the school’s all-time leading passer on the field while pursuing a doctorate off the field.
“A doctoral student who ranks as Memphis’ all-time leading passer, Brady White is the epitome of what the Campbell Trophy represents,” said National Football Foundation chairman Archie Manning. “Working towards one’s PhD is a daunting challenge by itself. To do it while excelling at the highest level of college football is truly exceptional.”
White is only the sixth non-Power Five recipient of the trophy and the first since Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell won the award in 2016. The California native was among 12 finalists for the trophy, which included Alabama State running back Ezra Gray and Tennessee center Brandon Kennedy, a transfer from Alabama and a former Wetumpka High standout.
“Brady and his fellow members of the 2020 NFF national scholar-athlete class represent more than just their standout athletic ability seen on the field,” said NFF president & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Their academic achievements and their contributions as leaders in the community send a powerful message about the young men who play our sport. They have taken full advantage of the educational opportunities created by college football, and they have created a compelling legacy for others to follow.”
A grad transfer, White graduated cum laude with a 3.58 GPA in business from Arizona State in 3.5 years. After completing his master’s in sports administration at Memphis in just over a year, he is currently pursuing a doctorate in liberal studies. This season, he led the Tigers to an 8-3 record under first-year coach Ryan Silverfield, including a win over Florida Atlantic in the Montgomery Bowl at Cramton Bowl with a 284-yard, three-touchdown performance.
Although the game has been canceled this season, White received an invitation to the 2021 East-West Shrine Bowl and will be able to participate in various virtual training/informational drills with current NFL coaches and members of the NFL Operations staff.
Active off the field, White completed 35 hours of community service in 2019 alone, and he was a semifinalist for the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy which recognizes off-the-field character. He has visited LeBonheur Children’s and St. Jude Children’s hospitals, volunteered with the Jessie Reed Foundation by distributing Joy Jars to hospitalized kids and participated in the Tiger Blue Holiday event at Gardenview Elementary. He continued to give back during the pandemic, reading a book to a local school system via Facebook Live.
White will be recognized on Thursday at the Home Depot college football awards show and with a video tribute on Monday at the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Launched in 1959 and celebrating its 62nd year in 2020, the NFF national scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic, athletic and community accomplishments, and the program has awarded $11.9 million to 878 top athletes since its inception. Candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
The centerpiece to the NFF’s scholar-athlete program, the William V. Campbell trophy, was first awarded in 1990.