NFF awards center Barrett Jones with ‘academic heisman’

Alabama senior center Barrett Jones was named the winner of the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best scholar-athlete in the nation, on Tuesday evening as part of the 55th National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

“I want to thank everyone from Alabama who helped make this possible for me,” Jones said when accepting the award. “I want to thank Coach [Mal] Moore, Coach Saban and all of my teammates. I think many people know how good of a football coach he (Saban) is, but what he doesn’t get enough credit for is how good of a job he does developing young men.

“I also want to thank my parents and my family. I am very close to my parents. There is no way I would be up here today without them. When I left for college, my dad told me something that I will never forget. He said, ‘Barrett, never forget who you are and whose you are.’ I have tried to live up to that my whole life. He has taught me many good principles about how to work hard, how to help others and how to give back.”

Jones, from Germantown, Tenn., is the first Crimson Tide player to receive the William V. Campbell. He was the sixth Alabama football player to be named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete, joining Johnny Musso (1971), Randy Hall (1974), Steadman Shealy (1979), DeMeco Ryans (2005) and Greg McElroy (2010).

“We are very proud of Barrett for winning the Campbell Trophy,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “He is very deserving in terms of all that he has accomplished both academically and athletically. He is one of the finest human beings that I have ever had the opportunity to coach.”

Jones is the only three-time Academic All-American in the history of Alabama football and is on pace for a fourth selection this season. As the 2011 and 2012 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he carries a 4.0 GPA, has already received his degree in accounting, and will complete his masters in accountancy next week. He has started on two National Championship teams at Alabama and will help lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame on Jan. 7, 2013, in the Discover BCS National Championship Game.