UMass Dartmouth defensive back semi finalist for ‘academic Heisman’

Oct 1, 2020

UMass Dartmouth senior defensive end Jacob Burkead has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell trophy, an honor also known as the ‘academic Heisman.’

The National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame announced Burkhead among 199 semifinalists for the award, which goes to the nation’s top football player for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.

According to a release from UMass Dartmouth, Burkhead is one of 40 NCAA Division III student-athletes to be named to this year's semifinalists list.

The 2017 MASCAC Defensive Rookie of the Year and a team tri-captain, Burkhead was one of 59 Division III student-athletes nominated for the 2019 Cliff Harris Award as the nation's top small college defensive player, registering 191 career tackles (133 solo) along with four interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 30 games played. 

Off the field, Burkhead is an active member of the University community, serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has participated in activities that include Special Olympics.

A Political Science major at the school, Burkhead has achieved a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average during his time at UMass Dartmouth  and has been named to the Chancellor’s List six times while earning a spot on the MASCAC Fall All-Academic team on three occasions. 

"This is not only an incredible honor for Jacob, it is a tribute to his hard work and the outstanding example he has set both on and off the field," Head Coach Mark Robichaud said.  "He is a respected leader in our program and in the campus community, and the legacy he is building speaks volumes to the values he has been instilled with.”