Oct. 11, 2007
Dallas, Texas -
Auburn tight end Cole Bennett was named a semifinalist for the 2007 Draddy Trophy as announced by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) on Thursday.
The award, which is sponsored by HealthSouth, recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined athletic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. Semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have at least a 3.2 GPA, have outstanding football ability as a first-team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
A 2006 magna cum laude graduate with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Bennett will earn his master's degree in Information Systems this December. Bennett has played in 45 games in his career and has started all six this season. He has 20 career catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Bennett returned to the lineup this season after missing the last 10 games of the 2006 season due to an ankle injury.
Bennett is also active in the community having served as a guest speaker to various organizations, including South Georgia Boy Scouts of America and Carrville Baptist Church. He has volunteered with the Red Cross, Storybook Farms, Student-Athlete Day, Beat Bama Food Drive and Spirit Day with Wright's Mill Road Elementary School, among others.
This year's semifinalists maintain a 3.58 average GPA in diverse majors and 66 have earned all-conference recognition on the field. The offensive line produced the most nominees with 31, while receivers and linebackers followed with 26 nominees each. Offense outscored the defense with 80 to 53 hopefuls. Twenty special team's aspirants completed the contingent. Nominees hail from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA, including a record 67 contenders from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 25. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2007 National Scholar-Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4 in New York.