Donnelly, Napier named to NFF Hampshire Society

Donnelly, Napier named to NFF Hampshire Society

IRVING, Texas --- Tusculum University's Kelly Donnelly and Benson Napier have been named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society.

To qualify for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, a student-athlete must be a starter or significant reserve in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university; achieve a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout the entire course of undergraduate study; and meet all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

Donnelly, a 6-2, 210-pound native of Pulaski, Tennessee, posted a 3.68 cumulative grade point average as an undergraduate while majoring in environmental science.  He is a member of the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List and Charles Oliver Gray Honors List.

Donnelly was named to the 2018 All-SAC first team to become the 10th TU long-snapper to earn All-Conference honors.  Donnelly, who served as a back-up long snapper in his previous three Tusculum season, earned the start in 2018 and became the first Pioneer in six years to earn a spot on the All-SAC first team at the position.  He also posted two tackles on special teams with a fumble recovery.

He was named to the Google Cloud NCAA Division II Academic All-District first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Napier, a 6-2, 315-pound senior from Coalfield, Tennessee, started in all 42 games he played in at Tusculum including all 11 outings in 2018 as one mainstays on the offensive line at center.  The TU offense boasted one of the top rushing attacks in the league averaging 173.2 yards per game.

He has a 3.35 cumulative GPA while majoring in mathematics where he is a member of the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

A total of 1,661 players from 426 colleges and universities qualified for membership in the society's 13th year, setting a new record for the number of members in the history of the program, which began in 2007.

Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his or her achievement.

"We have honored more than 10,000 student-athletes in the last 13 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 Pioneers finished the 2018 campaign with a 5-5 overall record including 4-3 in the South Atlantic Conference to finish third in the league standings.  It is TU's third straight season to finish in the top half of the conference and best overall SAC finish since 2014.