UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State senior Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) is among the candidates for the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s Scholar-Athlete Fellowship and the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s premier college football student-athlete.
A defensive end, Masaro is among the Campbell Trophy semifinalists and has an opportunity to become Penn State’s 17th NFF Scholar-Athlete recipient, the last being offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in 2010.
Massaro graduated in December 2011 with a superlative 3.85 cumulative grade point average, among the squad’s highest marks. He earned a degree in finance and is on schedule to earn a second degree, in economics, this December.
A 2010 first-team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American®, Massaro should be a strong candidate to earn Academic All-America® honors for a second time. An Academic All-Big Ten honoree, he also was nominated for the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for the 2012 college football season.
Massaro returned to the field this season after rehabilitating his second season-ending knee injury, which forced him to miss the 2011 campaign. The former Marple Newtown High School all-state player tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2009 Blue-White Game, forcing him to miss his redshirt freshman season. After starting the final 11 games of the 2010 season, in which he recorded 8.0 tackles for loss (3.5 sacks) and 37 tackles, Massaro tore his left ACL during spring practice in 2011, sidelining him for the season.
This season, Massaro has two tackles, with 0.5 TFL, in his two games played. He suffered a shoulder injury at Virginia and did not play in the wins over Navy and Temple.
During his Penn State career, Massaro’s community service activities include Special Olympics Pennsylvania State Summer Games, THON Make-A-Wish program, Centre County Down Syndrome Society dance, Penn State Uplifting Athletes Lift For Life and the Children’s Miracle Network.
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. The trophy is named in honor of Bill Campbell, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF’s Gold Medal.
"The NFF would like to personally congratulate each of the nominees for maintaining such high standards throughout their collegiate careers," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements, and there is no question that the NFF Awards Committee will have an incredibly difficult task in selecting the final group of honorees from among this esteemed group."
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 finalists and announce the results on Thursday, Oct. 25. Each finalist will be recognized as part of the 2010 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 and receive a 25-pound bronze trophy, will be announced live at the NFF’s 55th Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, pushing the program’s all-time distributions to more than $10.1 million.
Coach Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions host Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 6, for Penn State’s Homecoming game and second conference game of the season. The contest will kick at noon ET and air on ESPN, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.