UTSA offensive lineman named among 15 finalists for academic Heisman

Senior Ahofitu Maka has started all 8 games at center this year

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 09: A UTSA Roadrunners football helmet on the field at McLane Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) (Ronald Martinez, 2017 Getty Images)

IRVING, Texas – UTSA senior offensive lineman Ahofitu Maka was among 15 players named as finalist on Wednesday for the William V. Campbell Trophy, given to college football’s top scholar-athlete.

Finalists are chosen from all levels of college football by the National Football Foundation and earn an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.

Maka, from Hawaii, has started all eight games for the Roadrunners this year, helping the team to a 6-2 record overall and first place in Conference USA at 4-0. The two-time second-team all-conference performer has not allowed a sack or hit on the quarterback in 384 pass-blocking snaps and has helped lead an offense averaging 489.8 yards, or sixth-best in FBS, UTSA said.

UTSA says he is the offensive line’s representative on the UTSA Football Leadership Council and volunteered with the San Antonio Food Bank and UTSA Move-In Day as well as participating in Congress on Children and San Antonio’s MLK Day Parade.

The winner will be announced Dec. 6 at the NFF's College Football Hall of Fame banquet in Las Vegas and receive an additional $7,000 scholarship and the Campbell Trophy. Candidates are judged on accomplishments and leadership qualities shown on the field and in the classroom and community.

Joining Maka as a finalist are Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell; Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez; Auburn kicker Anders Carlson; Dayton running back Jake Chisholm; Chicago running back Nicholas D’Ambrose; Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen; Yale defensive lineman Oso Ifesinachukwu; Holy Cross running back Peter Oliver; Stanford offensive lineman Walter Rouse; Troy offensive lineman Austin Stidham; Wayne State linebacker Julius Wilkerson; Mississippi State receiver Austin Williams; Johns Hopkins offensive lineman JR Woods; and Saint John’s (Minnesota) defensive lineman Michael Wozniak.

Previous winners of the Campbell Trophy include Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar last year, Justin Herbert of Oregon and Christian Wilkins of Clemson.


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About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.