Via UT Media Relations
IRVING, Texas – Tennessee senior defensive end Kyle Phillips was named a semifinalist for the 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday. The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame announced 179 semifinalists for the award that recognizes an individual as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation.
Phillips has been a standout on and off the field during his career on Rocky Top. The Nashville, Tenn., native is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and graduated in three years with a degree in sport management. He is a nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors college football’s top community servant, and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Society last year.
In 2017, he traveled to Vietnam as part of a 13-day service trip with the VOLeaders Academy. Phillips and fellow Tennessee student-athletes learned about the nation’s culture and used sports as a means to enact positive change. On the trip, Phillips interacted with Vietnamese youth, worked with children in orphanages and volunteered at various sports skills camps. He also helped run the annual VOLeaders Sports Fest, an inclusive sports event for persons with disabilities.
On the gridiron, he has started four games on the defensive line in 2018 and has appeared in 31 games with 12 starts in his career. Last season, he tallied 35 tackles and 4.5 TFLs. He has nine stops and one fumble recovery in 2018, while serving as an anchor on the Vols’ defensive line.
The Vols have had two winners of the William V. Campbell Trophy. Quarterback Peyton Manning collected the award in 1997 and offensive tackle Michael Munoz grabbed the prestigious honor in 2004.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 31, and each will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. Live during the event, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.