DALLAS – University of New Hampshire football player Chris Zarkoskie (West Caldwell, N.J.), who graduated in December, was named Thursday to the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. Thursday's announcement was made by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF).
Zarkoskie, UNH's senior co-captain in 2012, was previously recognized as a two-time member (2011, '12) of the Capital One Academic NCAA Division I Football District I First Team and the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team. He earned CAA Academic All-Conference Team honors and received the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award three straight years (2010-12), and he was named to UNH's Academic Honor Roll every semester.
In March, Zarkoskie was the recipient of CAA football's inaugural Chuck Boone Leadership Award for embodying the highest standards of leadership, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship in his academic and athletic achievements. In addition, he's been an Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team® nominee for selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service in both '11 and '12.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,081 student-athletes since its inception.
Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his achievement.
Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include: being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university: achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.
"The growing number of schools involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Congratulations to each of these young men for their commitment to education and their leadership on and off the football field."
The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization's rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl "Red" Blaik, the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player's combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $10.1 million to 771 top scholars and community leaders.
Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 16 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best.
For more information on the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, visit www.footballfoundation.org.
The UNH football team wraps up spring camp with the Blue-White Game at Cowell Stadium on Saturday, May 4, at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free, though fans are strongly encouraged to donate a canned food item for a food drive that benefits Saint Thomas More Parish food pantry. For more information on the UNH football program, visit www.unhwildcats.com or follow on Twitter (@UNHWildcats). Season tickets are available by calling (603) 862-4000, extension 5.