University of Iowa senior defensive end Parker Hesse and Iowa State senior defensive end Spencer Benton have been named semifinalists for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy, the National Football Foundation announced Wednesday.
The award, which was added to the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in 1990, recognizes a student-athlete as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership. With 179 semifinalists from all levels of play in the NCAA and NAIA, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a 3.2 GPA, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Hess, a 6-foot-3, 261-pound senior from Waukon, is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and, last year, earned second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. He hae a season-high seven tackles against Wisconsin last Saturday and, in four games this season, has two sacks and 17 tackles with four solo stops and 13 assists.
Benton, a native of Van Meter, Iowa, also has excelled on and off the field in his five years as a Cyclone, earning first-team academic All-Big 12 honors twice in his career. He graduated with honors in 2018, earning a degree in accounting and finance with a 3.80 GPA. Benton, who was placed on scholarship for his final season as a Cyclone, has played in all three games this season, registering two tackles. He has 34 tackles, 3.5 TFL and 2.0 sacks in his career.