Alabama senior center Barrett Jones was named the winner of the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy on Tuesday evening, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation as part of the 55th National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.
"I want to thank everyone from Alabama who helped make this possible for me," Jones said while accepting the award. "I want to thank Coach (Mal) Moore, Coach Saban and all of my teammates. I think many people know how good of a football coach he (Saban) is, but what he doesn't get enough credit for is how good of a job he does developing young men.
"I also want to thank my parents and my family. I am very close to my parents. There is no way I would be up here today without them. When I left for college my dad told me something that I will never forget, he said "Barrett never forget who you are and whose you are." I have tried to live up to that my whole life. He has taught me many good principles about how to work hard, how to help others and how to give back.
Jones, from Germantown, Tenn., is the first Crimson Tide player to capture the William V. Campbell. He was the sixth Alabama football player to be named a NFF National Scholar-Athlete, joining Johnny Musso (1971), Randy Hall (1974), Steadman Shealy (1979), DeMeco Ryans (2005) and Greg McElroy (2010).
"We are very proud of Barrett for winning the Campbell Trophy," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "He is very deserving in terms of all that he has accomplished both academically and athletically. He is one of the finest human beings that I have ever had the opportunity to coach."
Jones is the only three-time Academic All-American in the history of Alabama football and on pace for a fourth selection this season. The 2011 and 2012 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he carries a 4.0 GPA, has already received his degree in accounting and will complete his masters in accountancy next week. He has started on two National Championship teams at Alabama and will help lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame on Jan. 7, 2013, in the Discover BCS National Championship Game.
He is a member of the University Honors Program and is a four-time SEC Honor Roll member. Inducted into eight different honoraries, he is a three-time recipient of the Commitment to Academic Excellence Award and the 2012 Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete of the Year.
Jones was a unanimous first-team All-America performer as a junior en route to being named the Outland Trophy winner and the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC's Lineman of the Year. He has started 49 games at Alabama at three different positions along the offensive line, including right guard, left tackle and center. He is a two-time first-team All-SEC honoree, who earned third-team All-America honors as a sophomore and Freshman All-America accolades in 2009. As a senior, Jones recently earned his second nod on the FWAA All-American list and is a finalist for the Lombardi, Rimington and again for the Outland Trophy.
The 2011 Wuerffel Trophy winner and member of the 2012 AFCA Good Works Team, Jones has participated in two mission trips to Haiti and one to Nicaragua, distributing food, working at schools and orphanages and helping with construction projects. He is a member of Campus Crusade for Christ, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he has served as a volunteer tutor at a local elementary school and acted as a student mentor for the Dean of Students office.
"Barrett is perhaps one of the greatest scholar-athletes to have ever played the game, and we are so proud to honor him tonight," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. "The 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class is one of the best ever, and for Barrett to stand above them all really says a lot about his accomplishments. He has a perfect 4.0 GPA and an All-American football career while still significantly giving back to the community - he was the clear choice as the best scholar-athlete in college football."For more information on Alabama Football, follow the Tide on Twitter @AlabamaFTBL and like the team on Facebook at AlabamaFTBL.