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Illinois center Joe Spencer named semi-finalist for Campbell Trophy

The list will be narrowed to 12-14 finalists on November 1.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois center Joe Spencer received some recognition for his ongoing charitable efforts on Wednesday morning! The senior captain was named a semi-finalist for the 2016 Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame; the award recognizes the nation's best football scholar-athlete.

Here are just a few of Spencer’s many off-field accomplishments at Illinois.

  • Serves as president of the Illinois Uplifting Athletes chapter, which raises money for rare disease research and treatment
  • Led the Illini's "Lift For Life," which raised over $21,000 for charity in 2016
  • Organized student-athlete variety show that has raised more than $80,000 for charity in the last five years
  • Leads the Illini's Thanksgiving Basket Program
  • Spearheaded the Leadership Summit for local middle school students

Spencer is also on a watch list for the 2016 Rimington Trophy, which gets presented annually to the nation’s top center. The 6-foot-4 Ohio native has started 28 games during his career with the Orange and Blue, and more importantly, he recently set a program record for all-time rushing yards by a lineman (14). While that accomplishment isn’t exactly worthy of a Piesman Trophy nomination, I think it's safe to say that opposing defenses need to start preparing for him.