Oct. 5, 2005
Lamberson and Steve Williams Recognized Recently
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State football seniors Josh Lamberson (Wilber, Neb.) and Steve Williams (Bolingbrook, Ill.) were recognized recently on a national level. Lamberson is one of 184 semifinalists for the 2005 Draddy Trophy, which is considered the "Academic" Heisman for college football's most prestigious academic honor. Williams accepted an early invitation to participate in the Las Vegas All-American Classic, an all-star game for some of college football's finest senior players across the country.
Announced Tuesday by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), Lamberson is included in a group of athletes from NCAA Divisions I-A, I-AA, II, III and NAIA. The award goes to a senior or graduate student-athlete in their final year of eligibility with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. This person must have outstanding football ability as a first-team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The award comes with a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Lamberson is the signal caller for a 5-1 team after an injury halted his 2004 season. In the eighth game against Missouri Western on Oct. 16, 2004, Lamberson injured his hip. Some feared it was a career-ending injury and that he would have had trouble walking. But, Lamberson has come back in 2005 and tossed for 1,321 passing yards and 12 touchdowns against only three interceptions. Currently, he is listed on six career records including 80 yards away from becoming the fourth Northwest passer with over 5,000 yards. As of Oct. 1, Lamberson is ranked 24th in the NCAA for pass efficiency (142.6) and 38th in total offense (222.3).
Fifteen finalists for the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award will be announced Oct. 27 with the winner selected at the 48th NFF Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Former Northwest football athlete John Edmonds received the Draddy Trophy in 2003 to become the first ever Northwest recipient. Since 1990, the Draddy has been awarded for superior athletic and academic accomplishments.
"I am extremely excited for Josh and we know what it is like to have a semifinalist after John Edmonds received the award," said head coach Mel Tjeerdsma. "For Josh to be considered is an extreme honor and he is very deserving."
A 6-3, 300 lb., defensive tackle, Williams will look to get the attention of NFL scouts at the Classic. Players are split into an East or West squad with the coaches being former NFL coordinators and NFL Europe sideline generals. The all-star game is set for Saturday, Jan. 14., at 1 p.m. CST at Sam Boyd Stadium. The fifth installment of the Classic, and just the second time in Las Vegas, will be broadcast live nation-wide on College Sports TV (CSTV). Williams will compete with all levels of talent with the majority from Division I ranks. Eighty-five percent of the athletes last year were Division I-A graduating seniors.
Williams returned last Saturday (Oct. 1) at Emporia State after being hampered with groin injuries. Returning after a three-game absence, Williams posted a career-high 10 tackles against ESU and has been part of a dominant defense. The 14-0 shutout on Saturday was the second time Northwest has held an opponent scoreless - the first time since 1984. On the year, Williams has totaled 21 tackles along with 0.5 sacks. Williams was picked as a preseason All-American by four preseason publications and websites.
There are 28 players from last year's game that made an NFL roster in 2005. For more information on the Las Vegas Classic, including tickets visit the Classic website at http://www.lvaac.com/index.
"It is a great opportunity for Steve to showcase his skills," said Tjeerdsma. "I think it is special for him to get an early invite knowing that not many players outside of Division I were asked early. Hopefully, Steve will get a chance to play after college."
Northwest, ranked No. 3 in the Southwest region, will host the second-ranked regional team Washburn Ichabods on Saturday at 1 p.m. from Bearcat Stadium.
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