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Mountaineer Duo Named to Hampshire Honor Society

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 16, 2021) – West Virginia University linebacker Jake Abbott and long snapper Kyle Poland were named to the Hampshire Honor Society by The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, today, as announced by the organization.

      The Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers.

      “We are pleased to honor another impressive group of athletes as part of this year’s Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “For more than a decade, the Hampshire Honor Society has served as a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.” 

      With the addition of seniors Abbott and Poland to the group, the number of Mountaineers named to the honor society since its formation in 2007 is now up to 38.

      An elite group of 908 players from 257 schools qualified for membership in 2021, the Society’s 15th year. The initiative has now honored 13,075 student-athletes since its inception.

      “We have honored more than 13,000 student-athletes in the last 14 years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.” 

      The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes at the 765 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.

      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to all 2020 fall athletes. Many seniors have decided to take advantage of this, and because they will return to the field in 2021, are not featured in this year’s Hampshire Honor Society.

      Twenty-seven colleges and universities have had at least one player in all 15 years of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society (2007-21), including Brigham Young, Brown, Bucknell, Columbia, Dayton, Huntingdon (Alabama), Iowa, Johns Hopkins (Maryland), Kentucky, Lafayette, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Penn State, Redlands (California), Saint John’s (Minnesota), SMU, South Dakota State, Wartburg (IA), Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri), Wayne State (Michigan), West Virginia, Wingate (NC), Yale and Youngstown State.

      The Hampshire Honor Society represents an important component in the organization’s rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, which began in 1959 with the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. 

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