Pack football recognized for academics by National Football Foundation and NFFCC

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PUEBLO, Colo. A total of 32 members of the Colorado State University-Pueblo football team have been recognized for their efforts off the gridiron and in the classroom by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) and the NFF Colorado Chapter.

First, five seniors from the 2018 squad were honored as members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society.

The 2019 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. An all-time high of 1,661 players from a record 426 schools qualified for membership in the society's 13th year.

Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have: Completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2018; Graduated players, who have remaining eligibility but will not return to collegiate play (e.g. declared for NFL Draft or retired from football), may also be nominated; Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and met all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements; Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2017 season.

The members of the Pack were:

Brandon Edwards (QB, Bothell, Wash.), Jacob Harmon (DL, Fountain, Colo.), Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.), Kevin Ribarich (WR, Pueblo, Colo.) and Quinn Vandekoppel (ILB, Castle Rock, Colo.).

Second, 18 members of the Pack were named to the National Football Foundation-Colorado Chapter Academic All-Colorado First Team. Another 14 ThunderWolves were named honorable mention to total 32 members on the teams, the most among the 10 college football programs in Colorado. Payer was named a finalist for the 2018 Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The criteria to qualify were cumulative grade point averages of 3.3 or higher for first-team status (3.0-3.29 for honorable mention), and 70 percent participation rate (unless injured) and a regular (starter, regular in the game on a rotating basis or a specialist). GPA's are cumulative and through the fall 2018 semester and true freshmen are eligible. There were 177 student-athletes who made the 2018 team (107 first-team, 70 honorable mention).