3 Hawkeyes Earn National Football Foundation Recognition

May 6, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Three senior members of the 2010 University of Iowa football team have been named members of the 2011 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. The Hawkeye players earning the honor are OL Josh Koeppel, LB Jeff Tarpinian and OL Julian Vandervelde.

The announcement was made this week by The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF). A total of 671 players from 241 schools qualified for membership in the society’s fifth year, showing a steady increase in membership each year since the inaugural class in 2007.

Koeppel is a native of Iowa City (Iowa City HS) who joined the Iowa program as a walk-on. He started the final five games as a senior, helping the Hawkeyes close the season with a win over 12th-ranked Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl. Koeppel earned Academic all-Big Ten honors as a junior and senior. This past season he earned the Forest Evashevski Scholastic Achievement Award and the Next Man In award on offense.

Vandervelde is a native of Davenport (Central HS) who earned CoSIDA District Seven Academic all-District recognition for the third straight season. He started all 13 games in 2010, earning second team all-Big Ten honors from league coaches and media. He earned Academic all-Big Ten honors for four straight years and shared the Forest Evashevski Scholastic Award this past season as well.

Tarpinian is a native of Omaha, Neb (Millard North HS). He was also named to the CoSIDA District Seven Academic all-District team and earned Academic all-Big Ten honors in each of the past four seasons. He shared the Forest Evashevski Scholastic Achievement Award last season with Koeppel and Vandervelde. Tarpinian was hampered by injuries in 2010, but started five games, including the Insight Bowl. He recorded 47 tackles, including 2.5 QB sacks. His forced fumble led to a touchdown against Arizona.

“In just the fifth year of this initiative, it gives the NFF great pride to honor so many qualified and accomplished collegiate players as members of this year’s Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The number of players we are able to recognize has nearly doubled since the first year of the program, showing that you can play football at the highest level and still be a standout student.”

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 the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided an endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. Each of the 671 players awarded with membership in this year’s Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating the achievement.

“We encourage every football-playing school in the country to get involved in this most important initiative,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, “Thanks to the generosity of Jon F. Hanson, we have honored nearly 3,000 of our nation’s best and brightest college players over the past five years. This program truly shows the power of football in building tomorrow’s leaders.”

Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include:

Being a starter or a significant substitute in one’s last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university;

Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and

Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation

The Hampshire Honor Society represents a powerful component in the organization’s rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal. Launched in 1959 with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete Awards program became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. And, since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $9.5 million to 740 top scholars and community leaders.

Under Coach Kirk Ferentz the last 12 seasons, 17 Iowa football student-athletes have combined to earn academic all-District and all-America recognition on 31 occasions.