The Youngstown State football team had three players recognized as members of the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career.
Former Penguins placekicker David Brown (Ojai, Calif.), defensive tackle Nick DeKraker (Marne, Mich.) and offensive tackle D.J. Main (Strongsville, Ohio) represented YSU on the 2013 list.
A total of 703 student-athletes from 259 different schools qualified for membership in the society's seventh year, marking the highest school participation in the history of the program, which began in 2007.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:Being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university; Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.
"The growing number of schools involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Congratulations to each of these young men for their commitment to education and their leadership on and off the football field."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,081 student-athletes since its inception.
Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"We have honored more than 4,000 student-athletes in the last seven years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, "We are humbled by his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."