Russell Krouse, a senior offensive tackle on the Bluffton University football team,
was among 127 candidates this fall for the National Football Foundation (NFF) National
Krouse, a marketing major from Huntsville, Ohio, was one of only 30 candidates from
NCAA Division III teams and the only one from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Nominated by their schools-which are limited to one nominee each-candidates for the
awards must be seniors or graduate students in their final year of eligibility; have
grade point averages of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale; have outstanding football ability
as evidenced by being first-team players or significant contributors to their teams;
and have demonstrated leadership and citizenship. The group is selected each year
by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of media members, College Football
Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
Krouse, an Indian Lake High School graduate, helped Bluffton to a 5-5 overall record-the
Beavers' best since 2004-and a 5-3 mark in the Heartland Conference, good for a four-way
tie for second place. That was Bluffton's first winning conference record since the
2001 team went 4-2, and the five conference wins were the most since 2000, when the
Beavers were 5-1 and conference co-champions.