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June 1, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - A trio of Penn State Football student-athletes have been selected the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society for the 2009 season.
The past two years, Penn State has led all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams in first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans®. During the 2009 season, three Nittany Lions repeated their Academic All-America® accolades: Hull, Pitz and junior Stefen Wisniewski (Bridgeville). Hull and Pitz become the seventh and eighth Nittany Lions to earn first team Academic All-America® honors twice.
A program record five Nittany Lions were selected to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® team. Penn State has had 12 Academic All-Americans® over the past four years.
Boone was a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District® honoree. A three-year starter, he graduated in 2009 with a 3.56 grade point average in elementary and kindergarten education. Boone is Penn State's career punting leader, with an average of 43.12 yards, eclipsing the record of 43.0 set by George Reynolds (1980-83). Boone averaged 43.3 yards on his 53 punts last season, with an impressive 21 landing inside the 20. His 43.3-yard per punt average left him in a tie for second-best in school history behind Ralph Giacomarro's 43.6 average in 1981.
A starter at middle linebacker in all 26 games the past two years, Hull graduated with a 3.58 grade point average in environmental systems engineering. Winner of Penn State's prestigious Eric A. Walker Award in 2009, the former Penns Valley High School standout led Penn State's Top 10 defense with 116 tackles last season, fifth in the Big Ten, and earned second team All-Big Ten honors. He is just the 20th Nittany Lion in the program's 123-year history to eclipse 100 tackles in a season. The St. Louis Rams selected Hull in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
In order to be considered for membership in the Hampshire Honor Society, a player must be a starter or significant reserve who maintains a cumulative 3.20 grade point average or higher in their last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university.
In its fourth year, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program, greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year and further strengthening its leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs.
Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $9.2 million to 724 top scholars and community leaders. Currently, the NFF distributes more than $300,000 a year at the national level through the program to 15 individuals. Each winner of a National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship. Additionally, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, is given to one member of each year's class as the absolute best. The winner of the Campbell receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through, its chapter network, the NFF awards an additional $800,000 to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF's annual scholarship total to more than $1.1 million.