University of Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley, Auburn University linebacker Ashton Richardson and Ohio State University defensive end John Simon have been named finalists for the 2012 Bobby Bowden Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision player who best epitomizes a student-athlete.
The award is named for former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, and conceived by former Bowden assistant coach Vince Gibson, who died in 2012 from Lou Gehrig's disease, and Vernon Brinson, who played for Coach Bowden at South Georgia College in the 1950s. The award is sponsored by Jon Khachaturian owner of Versabar, "The Power of Engineering Delivered."
In order to be nominated for the Bobby Bowden Award, a player must conduct himself as a faith role model in the classroom, on the field, on the campus and in the community. Nominees must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and have the backing of their school's athletics director and head football coach.
Barkley is a four-year starter at USC and has been named the 2012 Wuerffel Award winner. He is also listed as a finalist for the Manning Award. Barkley carries a 3.2 GPA as a communications major.
Richardson is a senior and a three year letter winner at Auburn. Richardson is a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a three-time member of the All-SEC honor roll. He owns a 3.95 GPA in equine studies.
Simon is a four-year starter for the Buckeyes. He was on the watch list for the Lombardi Award, the Nagurski Award and the Bednarik Award, and owns a 3.0 GPA in sports and leisure studies.
The 2012 Bobby Bowden Award winner will be announced at the FCA Bowl Championship Series site in Miami on January 4, 2013. Past winners are:
Year Winner Institution
2003 Jason Wright Northwestern University
2004 Billy Bajema Oklahoma State University
2005 D. J. Shockley University of Georgia
2006 Carl Pendleton University of Oklahoma
2007 Jacob Tamme University of Kentucky
2008 Stephen McGee Texas A&M
2009 Colt McCoy University of Texas
2010 Christian Ponder Florida State University
2011 Case Keenum Univeristy of Houston
2012 Nominees Institution
Matt Barkley University of Southern California
Copper Bassett Oklahoma State Univeristy
Steve Bigach University of Iowa
Justin Blanchford Univeristy of Nebraska
Dylan Breeding Univeristy of Arkansas
Lyle Dankenbring University of Central Florida
Akeem Davis University of Memphis
Seth Doege Texas Tech University
Nick Florance Baylor University
Justin Green University of Illinois
Ben Pike Toledo
Sean Renfree Duke Univeristy
Ashton Richardson Auburn University
Andrew Ritter University of Mississippi
John Simon Ohio State University
Luke Stansfield Western Kentucky Univeristy
Tucker Tipton Air Force
Cody Wilson Central Michigan
Corico Wright Clemson University
INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Dept.