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December 8, 2009

Jon Asamoah

Matt Bauman

Eric Decker

Moses Harris

Tim Hiller

Paul Jasinowski

Beau Kildow

Josh Mahoney

THE MODERATOR: Welcome once again to those of you who are watching on CBS College Sports Network. Again, this is the National Football Foundation's 52nd awards dinner. We are now conducting a panel with our student-athletes, the scholar-athletes as selected by the NFF to be honored tonight.
To put their award in perspective, there have been 724 student-athlete, scholar-athletes selected, and more than $9.2 million has been distributed in scholarships to the young people of our country over the last 51 years. This is the 51st class to be honored.
We welcome you back. We are going to speak to the members of the 2009 NFF national scholar-athlete class, the finalists for the Campbell Trophy, which is presented by Health South. Each of these recipients will receive a scholarship of $18,000, and tonight one of them will be named as the best scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined accomplishments in the classroom, on the gridiron, and as a leader in the community. He will take home the Campbell Trophy and a total scholarship of $25,000.
First up, we will hear from Illinois offensive guard Jon Asamoah who boasts a 3.82 grade point average and has been a three-year starter for the Illini, earning all Big Ten accolades last year. We will start with a question and have each recipient respond.
I'll start it with Jon. The question is, this award, I know it's hard to put into perspective, but just tell us what it means to you to be able to accomplish this as you close your college career.
JON ASAMOAH: Thank you. It's just an honor to be here really, just to even be considered for an award with these group of guys I've got to know over the last day, hearing their accomplishments. Some of them you see on the TV, some of them I met, hear what they do in the classroom, it's just an honor.
I'm grateful that the National Football Foundation considered to put me with this group. I thank all my coaches at Illinois, I thank my parents for pushing me back in the day. I'm just thankful to be here. First time in New York. It's just an exciting experience.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jon.
BYU linebacker Matt Bauman has a 3.91 grade point average in financing. He has amassed more than 200 career tackles, and 12 tackles for a loss.
Matt, your thoughts, too?
MATT BAUMAN: I have similar thoughts to Jon. I'm grateful to be here. I'm grateful for the foundation. Having an award that recognizes the demands both in the classroom and on the field, all these guys who have done a great job in both areas. It's definitely an honor. I'm grateful to be here.
I'd also like to thank my parents. I think they've pushed me throughout my whole life. It's a good honor to represent my university that I love and appreciate all that they've done for me, BYU. Just happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker is the most decorated receiver in Gopher history. He owns the school records for career receptions and yards, compiling a 3.42 grade point average. He's a three-time academic Big Ten selection.
Eric, your thoughts.
ERIC DECKER: Thank you. I want to say it's an honor to be distinguished with these great young men. This award means more than on-the-field performance. It encompasses in the academic room, in the community, really what it means to be a young man in this world.
I want to thank my university. Just say I'm representing my teammates, my coaches, what we're trying to do at the University of Minnesota. It's a great honor to be here.
Fresno State safety Moses Harris is a three-time academic all-WAC selection with a 3.56 GPA. He has been a three-year starter for the Bulldogs and was a second team all-WAC selection in 2008.
Moses, your thoughts?
MOSES HARRIS: I'm very humbled to be here, that the National Football Foundation chose me out of all the great candidates that were possibly selected for this award. It's a great, great honor. I just want to thank my parents, I want to thank the university for allowing me to represent them, and Coach Hill taking a chance on me.
This is a great honor to be amongst these guys and I'm very humbled to be here.
Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average every semester, having passed for more than eight thousand yards on the football field, he holds virtually every Bronco passing record.
Tim, your thoughts.
TIM HILLER: It's an honor and pleasure to be here. I think the best thing about this is just being around so many great guys who are complete people. Everyone here is a total package, everyone here is a leader and a winner. It's just an honor to be around these guys.
I think it's a celebration of all the people who helped to get us there, because I don't think anybody accomplishes anything alone. This is a special opportunity to recognize the people who help make this possible for us.
I'd like to thank Western Michigan University, my family, friends, coaches, my teammates who helped me accomplish this. As a quarterback, you rely on your teammates more than any other position, so it's really an honor and a testament to the people around me. Thank you to the National Football Foundation for all you've done.
THE MODERATOR: Brown offensive tackle Paul Jasinowski has accumulated a 3.70 GPA while twice being named all-Ivy League. He's active in the community, has raised $20,000 for cancer research.
Paul, your thoughts.
PAUL JASINOWSKI: I'm very excited to be here, to be included in this great group of finalists. It's a real honor to represent Brown University, my football team, the Ivy League. The Ivy League has always tried to emphasize its student-athlete, so I'm very happy to represent a league that's continued to do that.
I'd like to thank my football team, coaches, teammates, especially my parents who have always emphasized being well-rounded in everything that you do. Last I'd like to thank the National Football Foundation for giving me the opportunity to be here. It's been really a great weekend so far, and I look forward to the dinner tonight.
Morningside College wide receiver Beau Kildow has produced a perfect 4.0 GPA as a chemistry and biology major. He is a first team all-American in the NAIA and ranks in the school's top seven in receiving yards and receptions.
Beau, your thoughts.
BEAU KILDOW: This has been a really exciting experience to be able to share this moment with all these guys. I just want to thank the National Football Foundation for putting this on and I want to thank Morningside College, my coaches, my professors, and most importantly thank my family.
Northern Iowa linebacker Josh Mahoney carries a perfect 4.0 GPA, named a 2008 academic all American, first team Missouri Valley selection, a three-year letterman with more than 200 career tackles.
Josh, your thoughts?
JOSH MAHONEY: It's been really exciting to be just listed among some of the best student-athletes in the nation. It's been great getting to know these guys and hang out with them. Yeah, you know, it's a tremendous honor. I want to thank the University of Northern Iowa for giving me the opportunities and the resources to succeed and also allowing me to pursue my dreams outside of football as well.
You know, I thank everybody, especially the National Football Foundation, and I'm excited for tonight, too. So thank you.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is the winningest quarterback in NCAA history with 45 victories. He is a top contender for many of the national awards and is the winner of Johnny Unitas award this year and last year was named the Walter Camp most outstanding player for the season. McCoy has amassed more than 46 school records while earning first team academic all Big 12 honors three times and also has been active in his community, as well.
Colt McCoy.
COLT McCOY: Thank you. Just like these guys back here, I'm honored to be here, I'm thankful to be here. I couldn't be here without my parents, without great coaches, great academic staff. I thank the Lord for all the opportunities he's given me the past four years, especially grateful for that.
It's an honor for me to be here with these guys, to enjoy hanging out with these guys, meeting them, knowing them for who they are, not just what you see on the field, as they play, but who they really are as student-athletes.
Thank you.
Tusculum College tight end Jarrell NeSmith holds a 3.84 GPA in premed, he is a 2008 academic all-America selection, also garnered first team All-American honors after leading his team to a conference championship.
JARRELL NeSMITH: Thank you for being here. It's really a great opportunity to be here. I want to thank the NFF for considering me for the award. A bunch of great guys here. We're the best of the best, being considered in that, in this same group with everybody else, is truly an honor.
I want to thank Tusculum College, everyone who has pushed me there. My family and friends, couldn't do it without them. We're truly blessed. We have to bless God for all the opportunities. I wish the best for everybody in their future endeavors.
THE MODERATOR: Jarrell, we thank you very much for that.
Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek has amassed a 3.71 GPA while becoming the nation's active leader in career tackles, a double major in finance and economics, his many on-field accolades include All-American honors in 2008.
JOE PAWELEK: Thanks. I think when your career comes to a close, you're forced to look back, you see all the great people that have influenced you along the way, starting growing up with your family, all the role models and coaches, all the people at Baylor University, just a great experience. Just really thankful for all the influences that I've had in my life.
We come up here, what a way to close out a career is coming up to New York, have a great foundation with a great group of guys. I'm just honored to be here, so thank you.
Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing will end his career in Lawrence as the most prolific quarterback in school history with more than 10,000 yards passing, while compiling a 3.64 GPA in a double major in finance and economics.
TODD REESING: Thank you. Like all these guys have said, it's truly an honor and privilege to be here tonight. To be included in this class with the quality of guys that are around me is truly a blessing. First off, my parents, I have to thank them because I wouldn't be here without them. The foundation, for putting on this event, treating us so well, it's really a great deal to be a part of.
I'm just truly blessed to be here. I thank my university and my coaches for giving me the guidance, showing me the way to do things. I'm just humbled to be here and I thank everyone who is a part of this because it's really a great time. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Todd.
Hardin-Simmons wide receiver ZaVious Robbins is his school's all-time leader in kickoff return yards, first-team all-conference receiver, holding a 3.90 GPA in marketing, twice being selected as an academic all-conference selection.
ZaVIOUS ROBBINS: It's definitely an honor being here. I never guessed I would be on stage with such prestigious guys and be recognized by such a prestigious award. I'm humbled by the entire situation. I'm honored to represent Hardin-Simmons University. I got to thank my dad who has been there since day one when I was growing up. He told me he wanted me to not only be an athlete but well-rounded in the classroom as well. This achievement definitely shows that we've accomplished that. I'd like to thank the National Football Foundation as well. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has become one of the most decorated football players in college history, while compiling a 3.66 GPA. He is the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and maintains one of the busiest community service schedules of any athlete in the country.
Tim, your thoughts on being here today.
TIM TEBOW: Well, it truly is an honor and a blessing to be here with these guys and with you. The National Football Foundation has done such a good job of taking us in, putting us together, letting us build relationships with each other. With so many of the members, it has been a blessing to get to know all these guys, great guys who you see on the field, but then when you really meet them, you get to know them as people, you get to build those relationships. I think that's what's so special about things like this.
This award means so much because it's not just how you play on the field, it's not just what you do in the classroom, but it's what you do as a leader and someone who is going to serve your community. That's what's most important about this award, because all these guys are great players and they're extremely intelligent, but more importantly they're good people. They help their community and they make a difference in this world. That's why I'm so proud to be sitting beside these guys. Thank you and God bless.
THE MODERATOR: Blaine Westemeyer has tallied a 3.93 GPA in biochemistry while being named an AFCA Division III All-American and helping the Vikings average 29.1 points in 370 yards of total offense per game.
Blaine, your thoughts.
BLAINE WESTEMEYER: Well, it's a pretty common theme here but I'm also very humbled to be in this group of 15 other finalists. It means a lot to me. I believe NCAA Division III's identity is the fact it emphasizes the student part of student-athlete. Augustana takes great pride in that. I believe it's an affirmation to me, my teammates, my coaches and school that we're doing the right things when we're trying to excel in the classroom as much as on the gridiron.
So I'd like to thank my parents and family and teammates and coaches and everybody who has helped me get to this point in my life.
West Virginia linebacker Reed Williams has accumulated a 3.86 GPA as a finance and marketing major while registering more than 200 tackles as a member of two Big East Conference championship teams.
Reed, your thoughts?
REED WILLIAMS: First off, I'd like to thank the foundation for all they've done for us over the past few days. I'd like to thank my university, all the staff involved with getting me here, but coaches, my media guys that do such a great job for us each and every day, my family and friends. It's really an honor to be up here with these guys.
I've had the privilege of meeting them personally. It's really been a special event. I really wouldn't be blessed with this opportunity without the event you guys are putting on for us. So I really appreciate it. I proudly represent the state of West Virginia and all we do. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Reed.
Thank you for joining us today. We will now break for one-on-ones with the scholar-athletes.

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