Nebraska Chapter President and linebacker Chris Weber a finalist for William V. Campbell Trophy

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Nebraska senior linebacker Chris Weber has been named one of 13 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Presented by the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame, the Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.

A former walk-on and captain of the Huskers, Weber is also the President of the Nebraska Chapter of Uplifting Athletes and has been supporting the rare disease community most of his college career.

“It was a pleasure to get to know Chris very early in his career when he attended our Leadership Conference in 2014. He’s been a strong voice in college football for the rare disease community,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Scott Shirley said. “Being chosen as a finalist for the Campbell Trophy requires you to be a great football player, great student and most importantly a great person and leader. Congratulations to Chris and his family.”

A candidate for the Campbell Trophy must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, possess 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.

Weber, who is seeking to become Nebraska’s third winner of the award, was chosen as one of the finalists from among the 181 individuals nominated as semifinalists.

The 6-3, 240-pound Weber has started all eight games at linebacker this season and leads Nebraska in tackles (66), tackles for loss (six) and pass breakups (five). 

He sports a 3.96 GPA and has already been accepted to medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He’s a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District VII selection and a three-time Distinguished Big Ten Scholar.

Weber led the Nebraska Football Uplifting Athletes Road Race earlier this year, which raised more than $35,000 and he’s been named to the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship teams each of the past four years.

The 13 finalists will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to New York City for the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, where their accomplishments will be highlighted.

At the event, one member of the class will be declared the winner of the 28th William V. Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000. The event, which will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, will be live streamed on ESPN3, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Weekly Update: Late rally provides Nebraska with a huge comeback victory and Northwestern wins in OT for second week in a row

WEEK 9 GRAPHICNebraska quarterback Tanner Lee and the Cornhuskers were staring at the abyss of a lost season when they trailed Purdue by two scores in the fourth quarter.

Lee came up with a monster fourth quarter and the Nebraska defense shut down the Boilermakers in the final 12 minutes and the Huskers came away with a one-point victory to get back to .500 at 4-4 overall.

Down five points, Lee marched Nebraska down the field with an 8-play, 70-yard drive in 68 seconds. His final pass was a 13-yard touchdown to Stanley Morgan Jr. with 14 ticks left. Lee finished with 431 yards on 50 attempts with a pair of touchdowns.

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson completed a career-best 33 passes and threw for 356 yards as the Wildcats won in overtime for the second week in a row. Thorson earned the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week for his big day that included the winning TD pass in the third overtime.

Stony Brook remains a player in the chase for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title after a clutch road victory at Richmond to improve to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the CAA. Seawolves WR Ray Bolden had 13 catches for 118 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns including the game winner early in the fourth quarter.

Meet Penn State Chapter Co-President and Nittany Lions LB Jason Cabinda in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Maryland has battled through a rash of injuries at key skill positions and is still battling for a bowl bid after rallying from five-points down to edge Indiana and improve to 4-4 overall. Trailing 16-7 midway through the second quarter, Darnell Savage Jr. provides the spark Maryland needed by returning a blocked punt 16 yards for a touchdown.

Defending National Champion Clemson used 274 total yards from quarterback Kelley Bryant and the Tigers defense held a strong Georgia Tech rushing attack to less than 200 yards in a 14-point victory.

Notre Dame entered the College Football Playoff conversation by winning its sixth game in a row against a strong NC State squad that came in with one loss and was also nationally ranked. After the Fighting Irish fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter, the Notre Dame defense shut down the Wolfpack offense. The Irish scored the final 28 points.

The UPenn defense limited Brown to 10 first downs and 203 total yards to pick up its third win of the season with a 10-point road victory.

Colgate freshman quarterback Grant Breneman threw a trio of touchdown passes and the Raiders defense forced three turnovers and didn’t allow a touchdown as Colgate won its fifth game.

Sparked by a defense that limited Robert Morris to less than 150 yards, Saint Francis won its fifth game of the season by scoring on a 93-yard interception return and a 35-yard punt return to post the home victory.


Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson delivers for the Wildcats in triple OT upset of Michigan State and earns Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honor


Northwestern has turned its season around by taking full advantage of overtime the last two weeks. The Wildcats beat Iowa in extra time two weeks ago and upset previously No. 16 Michigan State in triple OT at Ryan Field.

Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson has found his rhythm and touch again to help guide Northwestern to the cusp of being bowl eligible again with a 5-3 overall record thanks to the pair of overtime victories.

Thorson saved his best game of the season for MSU, throwing for 356 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go along with a rushing touchdowns to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honors.

Lost in the shuffle of this crazy triple OT affair was how well each defense played during regulation. The Wildcats trailed by 10 point and were shut out nearly the entire first half before scoring 10 late points to draw level by intermission.

This is the third time Thorson, who threw both his touchdown passes in overtime including the game winner from 22 yards out on third down, has eclipsed 309 yards passing this season. And in the victory over MSU he cleared 2,000 yards through the air for the season.

Previous Uplifting Athletes

Rare Performance of the Week Winners

Week 1: RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame

Week 2: QB Ryan Finley, NC State

Week 3: QB Trace McSorley, Penn State

Week 4: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Week 5: WR Ervin Philips, Syracuse

Week 6: QB Chad Kanoff, Princeton

Week 7: QB Eric Dungey, Syracuse

Week 8: WR Jesper Horsted, Princeton

2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Penn State Chapter Co-President and LB Jason Cabinda

JASON CABINDAEach week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

 Name: Jason Cabinda

College: Penn State University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-1, 234-pound senior linebacker

High School: Hunterdon Central HS, Flemington, NJ

About Cabinda: Jason has played a major role in the emergence of the Nittany Lions as a Big Ten and national college football power. … As a true freshmen in 2014 he appeared in nine games and made his first start against Illinois. He’s been a starter at linebacker since his sophomore season and recently made his 30th start. … He is co-President of the Penn State Chapter and attended the 2017 Leadership Conference. … He’s been on the All-Big Ten team each of the past two seasons, and earlier this year was the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week after his 13-tackle effort against Michigan. … Jason is one several postseason award watch lists for 2017.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Cabinda: My most memorable experience as a football player would have to be last years Whiteout in which we were able to beat Ohio State who at the time was the No. 2 team in the nation getting that upset and watching the crowd storm the field was great.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Cabinda: I had first heard about it after a team meeting and just thought that it was simply another way I could get involved on campus and in the community and use my influence in a good way. It has taught me just how fortunate we are each day and to know that you should never take your health for granted.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Cabinda: Just seeing how crazy the fans are in the stadium and feeding off that energy when we first run out that gate is the best. Taking the time to really just breathe and take it all in is always awesome.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Cabinda: My favorite NFL player would probably be Gerald Hodges just because I love the way he plays downhill and I hope to be able to be as a good as he is one day.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Cabinda: It would be Lebron James just because he’s my favorite athlete and he’s someone whose brain I would love to pick apart.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Cabinda: It would probably have to be playing in the Iowa stadium just because of how hostile of an environment it was it’s a great feeling to get a win there.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Cabinda: Definitely would have to be going into sports broadcasting which is something I have grown an admiration for since being in college and definitely something I would really like to pursue.


What is your perfect pizza?

Cabinda: Barbecue chicken pizza with bacon on it

Last 3 songs you added to your playlist?

Cabinda: Word of Mouth –Shotta Spence; No cap –Future and Young thug; Pick it up- Famous Dex and A$AP Rocky

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?

Cabinda: Neither

 If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Cabinda: Leonardo Dicaprio

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Cabinda: All eyez on me

In the Mountains or on a Beach?

Cabinda: Beach








Notre Dame Bowling Event forges a rare bond between Irish player and patient

ND BOWLING EVENTThis story was originally published by Allison Hayes on ABC57 News website on October 21, 2017.

Notre Dame’s football players are big men on campus, but they also give back to their community. One player made a special connection with a young boy who is battling multiple life-threatening diseases.

Adler Carris is an active, fun loving 8 year boy who loves super heroes and stuffed animals.

“He appreciates things in a way that even adults don’t understand because he’s been to that other side, he’s been to the dark side if you will,” Adler’s mom, Elizabeth Carris, said.

When Adler was 4 years old the Carris family learned Adler had 3 life threatening diseases.

“He has pilomyxoid brain cancer. He also has hydrocephalus, which is water on the brain. He also has adrenal insufficiency,” Elizabeth said.

The diagnosis was devastating.

“It was like a gut punch. You get completely knocked out,” Elizabeth said.

It never diminished Adler’s spirit.

Adler has inoperable brain tumors at the base of his cervical and lower lumbar spine and the base of his skull.

After two years of intense chemo, radiation, and MRI’s, Adler has turned the corner.

“It is stable. No new growth for two years. We’re in a golden place so we like it. They say they’re going to make him an old man with tumors and I’m cool with that,” Elizabeth said.

As Adler gets stronger, he enjoys playing sports again.

“I just want to go bowling again today. I like bowling it’s fun,” Adler said.

This summer, Adler hit the lanes for a special opportunity to play with the Notre Dame football team.

The Uplifting Athletes program brought Irish football players together with children battling rare diseases. That’s when Adler made a new friend.

Irish wide receiver Austin Webster and Adler hit it off immediately.


“It was fun and we didn’t know this, when we got home we looked up Austin. He is one of the captains of the Notre Dame football team, we did not know that. And we were very surprised. And my mom and dad were like ‘We actually played bowling with one of the captains of the football team.’ I mean like they were pretty excited. I was kind of surprised, he’s a guy, he was happy and yeah he was cool and we didn’t know that. We wouldn’t think it would be him, we didn’t think so but we actually did though,” Adler said.

“First of all, he’s a great dancer. He started off, he just dances for ages and he loves to dance,” Webster said.

“That was Adler’s way of getting through chemo. That kid danced through chemo. You’ve got to see some dance moves because he’s pretty good,” Elizabeth said.

A couple of hours on a summer afternoon made a lasting impression.

“It’s just really love. They really take time out of their world to spend time with our kids. And that’s great because it means something, it shows something to our kids. Look this is something you can do. This is what these kids do. And they’re champions, they’re all champions. So it gives hope to our kids, too,” Elizabeth said.

But the kids gave hope to the players, too

“His mom was kind of telling me kind of the things he has had to and probably will have to continue to go through and the mere fact that a kid has gone through what he’s gone through and is still happy and still just still has a smile on his face, is truly inspirational. And the mere fact that he was having a good time, just made my day, because the stuff he has had to go through I can only imagine has been really difficult for him and his parents,” Webster said.

Adler is also a member of the Fighting Irish Fight for Life program that pairs children battling life threatening illnesses with various Notre Dame athletics programs.

Weekly Update: Notre Dame continues to climb in the polls after huge win over USC and Penn State stays unbeaten

WEEK 8 GRAPHICEver since losing a one-point game at home in Week 2 to undefeated Georgia, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have slowly ascended the ladder of national relevance.

Notre Dame won its fifth game in row and improved to 6-1 after clobbering previously No. 11 ranked USC in South Bend. The Irish amassed nearly 500 yards on the ground to bury the Trojans.

Running back Josh Adams and quarterback Brandon Wimbush combined for 297 of those yards on 33 carries and scored five of the Notre Dame touchdowns.

Notre Dame climbed to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and is No. 10 in the Coaches Poll.

No. 2 ranked Penn State stayed undefeated and head coach James Franklin picked up his first victory over Michigan in the marquee match-up of Week 8.

Penn State’s offense piled up more than 500 yards of offense on the previously No. 1 ranked Michigan Wolverines defense. Quarterback Trace McSorley piled up 358 of those yards and accounted for four touchdowns and was honored as the Walter Camp FBS Offensive Player of the Week.

Senior linebacker Jason Cabinda had 13 tackles, a TFL and a sack to pace a defense that limited Michigan to fewer than 275 total yards. Penn State outscored Michigan 21-0 the second half.

Meet University of Pennsylvania Chapter President and Quakers linebacker Sam Follansbee in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Princeton continues to score points at an alarming pace, scoring 50 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time since 1890 when famous poet Edgar Allen Poe was the captain of the Tigers football team.

Led by Tigers quarterback Chad Kanoff, who was 20-for-20 in the first half and finished with 421 passing yards, Princeton blew out Harvard by five touchdowns and is in the hunt for another Ivy League title.

Wide receiver Jesper Horsted had the third most receiving yards in school history, 246, on 13 catches. He also had a pair of TD receptions and threw a touchdown pass to snare the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of Week 8.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson plunged over from 1 yard out in overtime to propel Northwestern to its second victory in a row. The Wildcats edged Iowa in a defensive battle at home to get back to .500 in the Big Ten and are 4-3 overall.

Georgia Tech outscored Wake Forest 25-3 in the second half to rally from a four-point halftime deficit at home. The Yellowjackets’ duo of quarterback TaQuon Marshall and halfback KirVonte Benson combined to rush for 299 yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries.

Colgate freshman quarterback Grant Breneman threw a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for two more as the Raiders thumped Holy Cross on the road. Breneman completed 16 of 24 passes for 222 yards and chipped in another 36 on the ground to account 258 of the Raiders’ 419 total yards. Colgate’s defense came up with four turnovers, including three interceptions, and limited Holy Cross to fewer than 300 total yards.

Fordham limited Georgetown to fewer than 250 yards and only one touchdown to register victory No. 2 of the season. Quarterback Luke Medlock threw for 258 yards and a score to pace the Rams offense.




Princeton WR Jesper Horsted lights up Harvard with 246 yards receiving and throws a TD pass to earn Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week

HORSTED IMAGEPrinceton scored more than 50 points for the third consecutive week and remains squarely in the hunt for another Ivy League title after torching Harvard Friday night in front of a national television audience.

The Tigers offense has so many options at the disposal of QB Chad Kanoff, but at the top of the list is 6-4, 200-pound junior wide receiver Jesper Horsted.

A native of Minnesota who is a two-sport standout for Princeton, Horsted had 13 catches for 246 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions and also threw a two-yard TD pass to nail down the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week honors.

Horsted, who leads the Ivy League in receptions this season, posted the third highest receiving yards total in school history with his performance against Harvard. He has 55 catches for 712 yards and eight touchdowns in six games.

As a member of the baseball team, Horsted finished third on the team in hitting last season with a .281 average and was an All-Ivy selection in football and baseball as a sophomore.

Previous Uplifting Athletes

Rare Performance of the Week Winners

Week 1: RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame

Week 2: QB Ryan Finley, NC State

Week 3: QB Trace McSorley, Penn State

Week 4: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Week 5: WR Ervin Philips, Syracuse

Week 6: QB Chad Kanoff, Princeton

Week 7: QB Eric Dungey, Syracuse