St. Cloud State senior football player Matt Theis is a candidate for the 2011 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award. This same list of candidates comprise the semifinalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The Eden Valley native is one of 11 to be nominated at the NCAA Division II level. Nominated by their schools, semifinalists must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player of significant contributor, and have demonstrated leadership and citizenship.
A 6-7, 307 pound right tackle for the Huskies, Theis is a three-year starter and second year team captain. He is a two-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) team selection and two-time Academic All-Conference team pick. He was named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District team last fall.
Theis helped lead St. Cloud State to one of the most successful seasons in school history in 2010. The Huskies played a school record 13 games and tied the school record for wins with a 10-3 mark. St. Cloud State averaged 423.6 yards per game in total offense including 227.9 yards in passing. The Huskies won a first round NCAA Division II playoff game against Hillsdale College and were defeated in the second round by conference foe and eventual National Champion University of Minnesota Duluth, 20-17 in overtime. In his three seasons in the line-up, St. Cloud State has posted a 24-11 record.
An accounting major, Theis expects to graduate in December 2011. He has been on the Dean?s List for six semesters, participated in the Honors Program and was named to the Student-Athlete Honor Roll the last two years.
Theis served as a senator at-large for the St. Cloud State Student Government Association last year and played a role in creating campus policies and promoting student life on campus.
Since the fall of 2007, Theis has been a volunteer at the St. Cloud Southside Boys and Girls Club. His other volunteer activities include reading to school age children as part of I Love to Read month. He has been a coach/clinician for annual youth football events, volunteered annually for the St. Cloud Area Womens Fund Benefit, and is a part of a large group of student-athletes who assist the residence halls with move-in day each fall. This fall he began work as a tutor in the Richard Green House on the SCSU campus.
The NFF Awards Committee will select up to 16 recipients and the results will be announced via a national press release on Oct. 26. Each recipient will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and will vie as finalists for the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy. Each member of the 2011 National Scholar-Athlete Class will also travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 6 during the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner.