Ronnie Cameron Candidate for the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award

September 29, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 29, 2011

DALLAS, Texas - Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that redshirt defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron (Westbury, N.Y.) is among the 127 candidates for the 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education.

Cameron and 126 nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.

"This year's candidates truly embody the National Football Foundation's mission of building leaders through football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning whose sons Peyton (1997 Campbell Trophy winner) and Eli were named NFF National Scholar-Athletes in 1997 and 2003, respectively. "They are standouts in the classroom and on the field and have become leaders in their respective communities. Each school should take great pride in being represented by such well-rounded young men who will undoubtedly go on to do great things in life."

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of 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 class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."

The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Wednesday, October 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City be honored December 6 during the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the Campbell Trophy.

Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total post-graduate scholarship of $25,000. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program's all-time distributions to more than $9.8 million. Launched in 1959, the NFF scholar-athlete program became the first initiative in history to award post-graduate scholarships based on both a player's academic and athletic accomplishments. The Campbell Trophy, first awarded in 1990, adds to the program's mystique, having previously honored two Rhodes Scholars, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, two Heisman Trophy winners and five first-round NFL draft picks.

Entering last season as a "Transfer to Watch" by the Sports Network after joining the ODU program from Hofstra, Cameron started all 11 games at tackle for the Monarchs in 2010 and ended the year second on the ODU defense with 72 tackles (28 solo, 44 assisted). The Second Team All-State honoree was tied for eighth among FCS defenders in tackles for loss, averaging 1.73 TFL's a game and was second on the squad with 5.5 sacks. Cameron also led ODU with eight QB hurries, captured forced fumbles against VMI and N.C. Central and had a career-high 14 stops in the season finale at N.C. Central.

This season, Cameron has been named to the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Tackle Watch List and was one of the record 132 nominees announced for the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® recogning the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation.

Through the Monarchs first four games, Cameron has posted 25 tackles (10 solo, 15 assisted), including a team-leading 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He currently ranks second among CAA defenders in tackles for loss and eighth in sacks.

Away from the field, Cameron is active in the numerous Monarch Reachout programs including the annual National Marrow Donor Registry and the annual "Little Feet Meet" with ODU Special Olympics and has also participated in activities with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Virginia and last week's clinic with the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Virginia. Cameron has also served as a volunteer at the United Methodist Church, homeless shelters and at the Westbury Recreation Center and volunteered at Leesville Middle School and Larchmont Recreation Center.

A Dean's List student, Cameron finished his undergraduate degree in three years and is currently working towards his MBA. In addition to being a captain of the ODU Football Monarchs, he is also a member of the ODU MBA Association and is a recipient of the Luke Hillier Endowment for academic and athletic success. Cameron also helped led, organize, and was a keynote speaker at the third annual Black Male Summit.