CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A total of 11 Virginia football players have earned NFF Hampshire Honor Society membership, as announced by the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame today (April 12). That list includes Paul Akere, Jaylon Baker, Chico Bennett, Kam Butler, Antonio Clary, Derek Devine, Brendan Farrell, John Paul Flores, Coen King, Jared Rayman and Keytaon Thompson.
To earn membership a football student-athlete must maintain a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout his college career. Members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must be either a senior player who will graduate this spring/summer and just completed their final year of eligibility in 2022 or a graduate player who has been out of high school at least three years.
UVA had the most members of any other ACC program.
Other qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include: Being a starter or a significant contributor in the last year of eligibility at an NCAA FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III or an NAIA college or university; and meeting all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements.
A Cavalier has now earned the honor eight years in a row. Mandy Alonso, Adeeb Atariwa, Joey Blount, Danny Caracciolo, De’Vante Cross, Luke Finkelston, Hayden Mitchell and Jelani Woods were included in 2022 while Brian Delaney, Matt Gahm and Dillon Reinkensmeyer were included in the 2021 membership. Nash Griffin, Jordan Mack, Bryce Perkins and Joe Reed earned the honor in 2020. Evan Butts, Lester Coleman and Joe Spaziani earned the honor in 2019. Kurt Benkert and Micah Kiser earned the honor in 2018, while Nicholas Conte, Ryan Santoro and Conner Wingo-Reeves earned the accolade in 2017. Ian Frye was recognized in 2016.
Fellow ACC members Clemson (3), Duke (7), Florida State (4), Georgia Tech (1), NC State (2), Syracuse (1), Wake Forest (6) also boast student-athletes that gained membership in 2022.
“We are thrilled to honor another impressive group of athletes as part of this year’s Hampshire Honor Society,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Over the last 17 years, the Hampshire Honor Society has served as a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.”