In case you weren't quite sure of center Kenny Alfred's awesomeness -- after all, when the team has performed as poorly as WSU has over the past couple of seasons, it's easy to overlook the anchor of one of the team's worst performing units -- let me remind you.
First, there was Alfred being named to the watch list of the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation's top center.
Today, Alfred was named one of five semifinalists from the Pac-10 for the William V. Campbell Trophy (formerly known as the Draddy Trophy), which is commonly known as the "Academic Heisman." There are 154 finalists total. From the NCAA:
"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 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Renamed this fall in honor of Bill Campbell, the chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post- graduate scholarship. ...
"The NFF Awards Committee will select and announce up to 15 finalists on Oct. 29. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2009 NFF National Scholar- Athlete Class, receiving an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. The Campbell Trophy winner, who will have his scholarship increased to $25,000, will be announced live at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner on December 8 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $277,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening."
And finally, if you want to know why reporters have called Alfred one of their favorite people to interview, just check out this chat with 950-AM KJR's Ian Furness from yesterday. I challenge you to find a more articulate and thoughtful college student athlete.
Will he win any of these awards? Probably not. But that begs a question.
Does it matter?
Congrats, Kenny. Keep doing us proud.