As a nominee, Zarkoskie is a semifinalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football 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."
Zarkoskie, a 2011 and 2012 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team® nominee for selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service, is in his third season as a starter on UNH's offensive line. The left guard is a key member of a UNH offense that leads the CAA in total offense (486.5 yards/game), rushing offense (266.8 yards/game) and is ranked second in scoring offense (37.2 points/game).
Candidates for the awards must be seniors or graduate students 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 Thursday, October 25. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and he will vie as a finalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2012 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored December 4 during the 55th 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.
Zarkoskie, a psychology major who boasts a cumulative 3.54 GPA, was previously feted as a member of the FCS Athletics Directors Association All-Star Team in 2010-11 and 2011-12, garnered CAA Academic All-Conference Team honors in '10 and '11, was nominated for the 2011-12 CAA Football Student-Athlete of the Year award, secured a place on the 2011-12 Capital One Academic All-District Team and has received the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award each of the last two seasons.
The senior co-captain and his No. 20/22 Wildcats (2-2, 0-1 CAA) play host to No. 8 Delaware (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday (12 p.m.) at Cowell Stadium. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.