Oct. 4, 2013
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina senior Niccolo Mastromatteo was announced as one of 170 candidates - 46 at the NCAA FCS level - for the National Football Foundation (NFF) 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments. The nominees also comprise the list of semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients, and the results will be announced via a national press release on Thursday, October 31. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, and they will vie as finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. One member of the class will also be announced live at the event as the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Mastromatteo carries a 3.94 cumulative GPA in philosophy and plans on going to medical school. He has been named Academic All-Big South, FCS Athletics Directors Association All-Star Team and College Sports Journal FCS All-Academic Team last season. He has made the Big South Presidential Honor Roll three times (posting at least a 3.0 GPA for an academic year) and, in six semesters at Coastal Carolina, he has earned Presidential Honor Roll four times (a 4.0 GPA for an academic semester) and Dean's List twice (posting a GPA between 3.5-3.99 for an academic semester).
On the field, Mastromatteo, a 2013 preseason All-American, is leaving an indelible mark in the Coastal Carolina and Big South record books. He is a four-time All-Big South selection (first team as punt returner 2012, second team as wide receiver in 2012 and second team as punt returner in 2010 and '11) and owns the Big South and CCU career marks for punt returns (70) and punt return yards (605). He has the longest and third-longest punt returns in both league and CCU history, has the longest pass play in CCU history and tied the CCU single-game record with 10 receptions in a game. He only caught one pass for seven yards in his first two years at CCU, but has caught 63 passes for 722 yards and four touchdowns over his last 16 games, including 16 passes for 151 yards in 2013. Thanks to hauling in four passes for 47 yards and a score this past week at Elon, Mastromatteo broke into the CCU career top 10 in both receptions (10th with 65) and receiving yards (ninth with 729).