Irving, TX- The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame have announced the 2017 members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, and Kenny Nez, (Walker River Paiute) was honored on Wednesday when the honorees were released. The honor is made up of 1,091 players nationwide, from 298 schools at all levels of college football. Student-athletes must maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA and be starters or significant contributors to their team. They must also must have completed their final year of eligibility in 2016. Finally, student-athletes must satisfy all progress towards degree requirements. All three of Saint Mary’s honorees are currently alumni of the university, with Nez completing his degree in May of 2016, and Young and Rivera satisfying their degree requirements in December of 2016.
Nez, a captain in 2016, received his 3rd straight First Team All-KCAC Award, and was also named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete. He is the career record holder at Saint Mary in tackles and interceptions, in addition to being a 2nd Team All-American in 2014. He graduated with his degree in Elementary Education.
“We are pleased to see a record number of colleges and universities embrace the Hampshire Honor Society this year,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Over the past decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.”
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 the chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year’s Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
“It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 11 years,” said Hanson. “Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they’re going on to be great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work.”
“We have honored more than 7,700 student-athletes in the last 11 years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are grateful for 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.”
For more information, please visit the National Football Foundation website by clicking the link.