BYU senior linebacker Matt Bauman was one of 16 student-athletes honored Tuesday by the National Football Foundation at its 52nd annual awards dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Each member of the 2009 National Scholar-Athlete class received an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship from the NFF. Tim Tebow of Florida was awarded the Campbell Trophy as the nation's top scholar-athlete.
"I'm grateful for the Foundation having an award that recognizes the demands both in the classroom and on the field," said Bauman from New York City. "It's definitely an honor to be here. It's an honor to represent a university that I love and I appreciate all they've done for me at BYU."
Bauman, a native of Salt Lake City, is a two-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American and a three-time Academic All-MWC honoree. He has a 3.91 grade point average in finance, is a team captain and member of the BYU Football Leadership Council. On the field, Bauman started 11 of 12 games for the Cougars in 2009. He recorded 53 tackles (24 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.
In addition to the awards dinner, the National Scholar-Athletes attended the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall and dined at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant on Central Park South.
The 2009 class was selected from a nationwide pool of 154 semifinalists. Nominated by their institutions, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
"The National Football Foundation represents everything right about our great sport, and this night simply features the best and brightest of college football," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning at the ceremony. "The accomplishments of our 2009 honorees make us all proud and provides us the ultimate vehicle for coming together to celebrate a sport that has given so much to so many."
Over the past 51 years, 724 student-athletes have been awarded more than $9.2 million in scholarships by the National Football Foundation.