Senior quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) has been selected to the 2018 National Football Foundation’s (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Class for his performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community. He is now one of 13 finalists for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy, which annually recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
McSorley is the 18th Nittany Lion to be selected as an NFF Scholar-Athlete, joining Dave Joyner (1971), Bruce Bannon (1972), Mark Markovich (1973), Jack Baiorunos (1974), Chuck Correal (1978), John Walsh (1980), Carmen Masciantonio (1984), Lance Hamilton (1985), Brian Siverling (1986), Matt Johnson (1987), Tony Pittman (1994), Jeff Hartings (1995), Wally Richardson (1996), Aaron Collins (1997), Paul Posluszny (2006), Stefen Wisniewski (2010) and John Urschel (2013). Urschel won the Campbell Trophy in 2013. The 18 selections for the Nittany Lions are tied for third all-time with Notre Dame.
The 13 finalists, selected from 179 semifinalists from NCAA Division I, II, III and the NAIA programs, will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 60th NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, and they will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 4, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Previously, McSorley was announced as a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and one of the 15 remaining candidates for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented by A.O. Smith, which is given to the country’s top quarterback.
McSorley owns the Penn State career records for: passing yards (8,997), passing touchdowns (71), total offense (10,513), rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (27), touchdowns responsible for (98), 300-yard passing games (10) and 200-yard passing games (26). He is also the school season recordholder for: passing yards (3,614; 2016), completions (284; 2017), passing touchdowns (29; 2016), rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (11; 2017), total offense (4,061; 2017), touchdowns responsible for (37; 2017), 300-yard passing games (5; 2016, 2017) and is tied for the top spot in 200-yard passing games (11; 2016, 2017). McSorley threw at least one touchdown pass in 34-straight games, from the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl until the Indiana game in 2018, a Penn State record and the fifth-longest in FBS Power Five history. In the win over Indiana last week, McSorley became the first Penn State player and 11th in Big Ten history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark in total offense. He also ranks third in Big Ten history with 98 touchdowns responsible for behind only Ohio State’s JT Barrett (147; 2014-17) and Purdue’s Drew Brees (106; 1997-00).
Against Ohio State in September, McSorley established a Nittany Lion record with 461 total yards against Ohio State (9/29/18), including 286 passing and 175 rushing. McSorley ranks No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 26 in the FBS in passing yards per completion (13.34). He is also No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 53 in the nation with 12 passing touchdowns. McSorley is also among the conference’s top rushers, ranking No. 8 in the Big Ten, and first among quarterbacks, with 617 rushing yards, while leading the conference with nine rushing touchdowns, which is 16th in the FBS. McSorley is No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 25 in FBS with 280.6 total yards per game, as well as No. 2 in the conference and No. 18 nationally with 15.8 points responsible for per game.
McSorley graduated in May 2018 with a degree in accounting and is working on a second degree in journalism. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, he spent the summer of 2017 interning for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.
McSorley served as the president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes Chapter in 2017 and vice president in 2018, helping raise money for rare diseases. He has also visited the Penn State Children’s Hospital and made visits to read at local schools, both in Pennsylvania and Virginia. McSorley also served as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy this past summer.
“We are extremely proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Campbell Trophy, who make up the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “These young men have an unrelenting commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives, and they represent all that is right in college football. They serve as living examples that Football Matters, and we are excited to honor their hard work and accomplishments with postgraduate scholarships.”
Candidates for the Campbell Trophy and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA 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 NFF Awards Committee did an excellent job in selecting this year’s National Scholar-Athletes,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, whose sons Peyton (Campbell Trophy recipient) and Eli were NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. “Selected from an impressive group of semifinalists, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments, as they have undoubtedly distinguished themselves as some of the best student-athletes in the country. Each of these men is also a leader in his respective community, and we know that they have only begun to reach their potential.”