Dec. 6, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia senior punter Drew Butler was recognized Tuesday as one of the recipients of the National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Awards.
The 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner took place at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
"Ten years ago I was in this exact place when my father was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame," Butler said, referring to his father Kevin. "To have this come full circle and be recognized with this great group of guys is a huge honor."
Each of the players honored won an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Butler was 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 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).
A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships was awarded Tuesday.