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Isaiah Williams named semifinalist for Campbell Trophy

Illinois doesn’t mess around when it comes to student-athletes.

The Champaign Room - Brad Repplinger

Isaiah Williams is continuing to add onto his Illini legacy.

The junior wide receiver was named by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) as a semifinalist for The William V. Campbell Trophy.

This prestigious award is known to be college football’s most sought after scholar-athlete honor. This year has seen a record 201 named semifinalists.

The trophy recognizes the college football player that represents and embodies the best versions of on-field play, academics and community service. It has often been referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”

In its 34th year as an award, the Campbell Trophy has seen a list of star-studded winners such as Peyton Manning (1997), Tim Tebow (2009) and Justin Herbert (2019).

Williams, a two-time team captain, has proven his leadership skills throughout his tenure in Champaign.

On top of that, he leads all Illinois receivers in 2023 by a significant amount with 24 receptions and 333 receiving yards. Williams has established himself as the Illini’s clear-cut number one option at wide receiver.

12-14 finalists for the award will be announced on Oct. 25 by the NFF. Each finalist will receive an $18,000 scholarship as a member of the 2023 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.

As a two time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a Howard Griffith Impact Player Award recipient, Williams has already proven his dominance on and off the field. This award would just be the cherry on top.

Last year’s winner of the award was former Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, so Williams is looking to keep the trophy in the Big Ten.