Eric Decker won't play again this year, but his significant body of work has earned him another honor.
Decker was named a 2009 National football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. Decker is one of 16 college football players from all divisions of the NCAA and NAIA to be honored with is award, which comes with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
One of the 16 finalists will be announced announced as the recipient of the 20th Anniversary William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar-athlete in the nation. That comes with a trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
"To be honored with a national award like this and to be recognized with that group of guys is really special for me," Decker said in a release from the University of Minnesota. "To be considered one of the top student-athletes in the nation is a great honor. This award demonstrates a lot more than any other award or achievement I could have had in my career. This award is about being an all-around student-athlete and that makes it very special."
Added Gophers coach Tim Brewster: "This prestigious honor could not have gone to a finer representative of the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota. I couldn't be any more proud of or happier for Eric Decker."
It is a bittersweet award for Decker, who badly sprained his foot in the Gophers' loss to Ohio State. I understand that surgery has been decided upon, but that only the date of that surgery has yet to be determined. That would put Decker out for the season, including a bowl game.
Here is a list of all the finalists:
JON ASAMOAH - OG - University of Illinois - 3.82
MATT BAUMAN - LB - Brigham Young University - 3.91
ERIC DECKER - WR - University of Minnesota - 3.42
MOSES HARRIS - S - Fresno State - 3.56
TIM HILLER - QB - Western Michigan University - 4.00
PAUL JASINOWSKI - DT - Brown University - 3.70
BEAU KILDOW - WR - Morningside College (Iowa) - 4.00
JOSH MAHONEY - LB - University of Northern Iowa - 4.00
COLT McCOY - QB - University of Texas - 3.33
JARRELL NeSMITH - TE - Tusculum College (Tenn.) - 3.84
JOE PAWELEK - LB - Baylor University - 3.71
TODD REESING - QB - University of Kansas - 3.64
ZaVIOUS ROBBINS - WR - Hardin- Simmons University (Texas) - 3.90
TIM TEBOW - QB - University of Florida - 3.66
BLAINE WESTEMEYER - OT - Augustana College (Ill.) - 3.93
REED WILLIAMS - LB - West Virginia University - 3.86