Williamsport, Pa. - Senior offensive lineman Kyle Pierce (Berwick, Pa./Berwick Area) was announced as a candidate for the National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Awards, making him one of the semifinalists for the 2020 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Mazda, the organization officially announced on Thursday, Oct. 1.
“Kyle is a throwback player,” Lycoming’s 13th-year head coach Mike Clark said. “He’s mentally tough, disciplined and smart. He is strong and physically gifted. When we ran into depth issues on the offensive line, he stepped right in, while still playing defensive tackle throughout parts of his sophomore year. His team-first mentality is evident. He hasn’t worried about what side of the ball he played on – he just wants to help the team win.”
Pierce has started 21 games in a row and appeared in 31 in his career while splitting time as an offensive and defensive lineman. The engineering physics major moved to his spot as a permanent offensive lineman in the last seven weeks of 2020, earning Honorable Mention All-MAC honors as the team’s center. He helped the team to a three-week stretch at the end of the 2019 season where it scored 141 points, its most in a three-game set since 1980, and set a school record with 640 yards of total offense in its 42-21 win over FDU-Florham.
Before moving exclusively to the offensive line, Pierce split time on both sides of the ball for the previous two seasons. As a sophomore, he played both ways in the last 10 games of the year and finished with 32 tackles before starting his junior year with 11 tackles, a sack and forced fumble in just three games. As a freshman, he had 22 tackles, 3.5 for loss and a sack as he played exclusively on the defensive side of the ball.
He has been honored as a member of the MAC Academic Honor Roll three times and is a member of both the Chi Alpha Sigma (Athletics) and Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics) honor societies.
The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists in November, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2020 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments.
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.
Named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, former chairman of Intuit, former player and head coach at Columbia University and the 2004 recipient of the NFF's Gold Medal, the Campbell Trophy presented by Mazda is a 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the amount of the recipient's grant by $7,000 for a total postgraduate scholarship of $25,000. This year's postgraduate scholarships will push the program's all-time distribution to more than $12 million.