Senior Drew Butler becomes one of only 12 players in Bulldog history to be named to the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.
Oct. 26, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia senior punter Drew Butler has been named one of the recipients of the National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Awards, according to a recent announcement from the NFF and the College Hall of Fame.
Each of the players honored win an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The honorees also comprise the list of finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Butler is the only player from the Southeastern Conference on the 16-man team. The 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American is also the sole special teams player honored this year.
The Bulldogs have now had 12 players in school history earn this honor. Most recently, quarterback David Greene and offensive line brothers Jon Stinchcomb (2002) and Matt Stinchcomb (1998) received the award. Place kicker Bobby Etter (1966) was the first Georgia winner and the only other special teamer on the Bulldog list.
The son of College Football Hall of Fame Bulldog Kevin Butler, Drew Butler has created his own legacy between the hedges with an impactful career in the classroom, community and on the gridiron.
Hailing from Duluth, Ga., Butler was a CoSIDA/ESPN First Team Academic All-District selection in 2009. A four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree, he has qualified for the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll every semester during his college career, as well as the President’s List, the Dean’s List and the Academic Round Table. He also claimed a Ramsey Academic Scholarship and a HOPE Scholarship.
In his first season as the team’s full-time punter in 2009, Butler won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter by averaging a nation’s best 48.1 yards on 56 punts while pinning 19 attempts inside the 20-yard line. A consensus First Team All-American, he became just the third Bulldog to lead the country in punting, and his 48.1-yard average was the nation’s best since Travis Dorsch of Purdue averaged 48.4 yards per punt in 2001.
In 2010, Butler was named a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press while averaging 44.5 yards per punt on 50 attempts with 19 downed inside the 20. This season, the Ray Guy Award Watch List member ranks eighth nationally and first in the SEC with a 46.1 yard average on 26 punts for the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs (5-2, 4-1 SEC). A member of Georgia’s All-Decade Team, Butler is the nation’s active career leader with an average of 46.1 yards per punt.
A team captain for special teams in 2010, Butler is also a Unity Council member on the team. He regularly volunteers at the Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer annual golf tournament, Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club and Camp Sunshine. Butler also serves as a reader at several Athens-area elementary schools and works with the local service group Camp Kudzu.
The NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year’s class members finds themselves in good company, as past National Scholar-Athletes include former Bulldog All-American and current chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne (Georgia).
Each finalist will receive the postgraduate scholarship at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and one of the 16 will be announced as the 22nd recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy. Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
Butler and the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs travel to face Florida in Jacksonville on Saturday. CBS will televise the matchup at 3:30 p.m. ET.