By BRIAN RAMSEY | OBU Sports Network
IRVING, Texas — Ouachita Baptist University senior offensive lineman Peyton Stafford has been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award.
On Wednesday, the National Football Foundation announced the list of 156 semifinalists across all levels of college football. The group boasts a 3.62 average grade point average, with more than half of the semifinalists having already earned their bachelor’s degrees. Stafford is one of 13 semifinalists from the NCAA Division II ranks.
Stafford is in his final year at Ouachita, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He is expected to graduate this fall. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in business while also exploring a career in coaching college football.
Since enrolling at Ouachita in the fall of 2017, Stafford has earned a spot on either the Ouachita President’s List or Dean’s list a combined nine times. The Amarillo, Texas native is a two-time member of the Great American Conference All-Academic Team.
Stafford is in his fifth season as an offensive lineman for the nationally-ranked Ouachita football team, and second year serving as a team captain. During his junior season of 2021, Stafford earned All-America honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and the Don Hansen Football Committee. He was also an All-Region and All-GAC first team honoree.
In addition to his success in the classroom and on the football field, Stafford is also a leader in the communities that he represents, both in Arkadelphia and at home in west Texas. He has participated in and served as a team leader for Ouachita’s Tiger Serve Day, has been a part of Ouachita football’s Christmas project to raise funds for local children’s organizations, and has served as a counselor at local camps, to name a few.
“I am so proud of Peyton for all he has accomplished,” said Ouachita Head Football Coach Todd Knight. “Like most of the candidates for this award, Peyton has had to work through adversity with the pandemic and just the normal issues that college athletes face, and has come out stronger for it. The combination of success he has had on the field, in the classroom, and in the community has set him up for a great future. He is already a great leader, and will be in whatever avenue he chooses.”
The list of 156 semifinalists will be trimmed down to 12-14, which will be announced on October 26. Each finalist receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2022 NFF Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the 64th Annual NFF Awards Dinner on December 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. The winner will have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.