James Smith named among Draddy semifinalists
Long snapper James Smith is among 164 semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented to an athlete who has excelled in academics, football and community service. The award is commonly referred to as the "academic Heisman.''
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2, be a first-team football player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The award was established to honor former National Football Foundation Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands. The award comes with a 25- pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Smith has appeared in 43 games during his career at Florida as the long snapper and has also been an important member of special teams on the kickoff unit. He is a three-time member of the Leadership Committee, which is a group of players selected by head coach Urban Meyer based on commitment, character and leadership who serve as spokesmen for the team regarding team policies, team academics and any off-campus situations that arise. A two-time member of UF’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Smith graduated from Florida in August of 2008 with a 3.5 GPA and bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship at Florida and is on track to graduate in May of 2009.
Up to 15 finalists will be announced on Oct. 29.