Beavers named to NFF Honor Society
Gingrich, Kaufman, Sabin and Wright honored
May 16, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) recently announced the members of the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. A total of 703 players from 259 schools qualified for membership in the society's seventh year, marking the highest school participation in the history of the program, which began in 2007.
Seniors Thomas Gingrich (Goshen, Ind.), Ben Kaufman (Ottawa-Glandorf), Ryan Sabin (Canal Winchester) and Tyler Wright (Troy), who wrapped their Bluffton University football careers last fall, have been named to the 2013 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society.
"The growing number of schools involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows
that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are
some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell.
"Congratulations to each of these young men for their commitment to education and
their leadership on and off the football field."
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program 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 who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,081 student-athletes since its inception.
Thomas Gingrich, who received the 2013 A.C. Burcky Award as senior male athlete of the year, has a 3.89 grade point average and was named second-team Academic All-American last fall by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He became the first Bluffton football player to be honored as an Academic All-American in the 91-year history of the program, and the third Bluffton athlete to be so recognized in any sport.
As a junior, Gingrich received first-team Academic All-District honors-a first for Bluffton football since 2002. In addition, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) named him Academic All-Conference three times-the maximum number of years the award may be earned. He is president of the Science Club and a tutor and lab assistant in the science department on campus.
A four-year starter on the field, Gingrich was a first-team All-HCAC offensive lineman in 2012 while helping the football team to a 5-3 conference record and an overall mark of 6-4-Bluffton's best since 2000. The Beavers' 10 conference wins over the last two years are the most in a two-year period since Bluffton joined the HCAC in 1998.
Linebacker Ben Kaufman spearheaded the stout Bluffton defense, earning First Team All-HCAC honors in his final campaign with the Beavers. He finished second on the team with 88 total tackles, including 31 solo stops. Kaufman picked off a pair of passes, broke up two more and added two quarterback hurries this season.
Following the RHIT triple-overtime win, Kaufman was named the Ohio College Football as well as the HCAC Defensive Player of the Week thanks to a 16-tackle performance. He forced a fumble, recovered one and finished with 3.5 TFL's for a loss of 19 yards, 11 of which came on a sack against Hanover College. The senior finished his career with 147 tackles, nine TFL's, three sacks, three hurries and he forced three fumbles as a Beaver.
Senior captain Ryan Sabin hauled in a team-high 541 receiving yards on 32 receptions. The honorable mention selection caught three touchdowns, including a 75-yard score against Hanover College. For his career, Sabin finished with 40 catches for 672 yards and five touchdowns.
Directing the Bluffton offense last season was senior signal-caller Tyler Wright who completed 109 of his 174 passing attempts for 1,443 yards and eight touchdowns. Wright added 96 yards and three scores on the ground. The honorable mention selecton is currently ninth all-time on the Total Offense list with 3,886 yards (4.96 per play). His 2,786 passing yards are seventh all-time, while his 17 touchdowns and 245 completions place him sixth all-time. Wright's .622 completion percentage places him second behind Joel Parrett on the career list.
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 a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.
"We have honored more than 4,000 student-athletes in the last seven years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, "We are humbled by 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."