Northwestern State senior wide receiver Gavin Landry played a key role in the Demons offense setting several school records a season ago.
Ahead of his six-game spring season, Landry is part of another record-setting ensemble – the 199 college football players who have been named semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy. The list, which includes players from NCAA Divisions I, II and III as well as NAIA, was announced by the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday morning.
The Campbell Trophy recognizes a college football player as the best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. Nominees must be a senior or graduate student in his 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 or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The 199 semifinalists are the most in the 31-year history of the award.
Landry, a summa cum laude graduate in business administration with a 3.93 grade point average, enjoyed his most successful statistical season in 2019, catching 26 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in seven games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
That injury came as Landry, a White Castle native, set a career-long with a 54-yard catch-and-run touchdown against nationally ranked Central Arkansas.
Away from the field, Landry has been a four-year member of Northwestern State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the group’s Community Service Outreach Representative. He is a four-year member of NSU’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving three years as a member of the Worship Team and as a Huddle Leader at middle and high school FCA retreats. He also volunteers with the Youth Group at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches.
“Gavin’s story, overcoming heart surgery as a senior in high school, is matched only by his drive and determination,” said third-year head coach Brad Laird. “He has gone from a walk-on to a key member of our wide receiver group, and his leadership skills are unmatched. He has been one of our most respected players for what he does on the field and away from it. He embodies the characteristics you want to see from every student-athlete – handling his business on the field and in the classroom while giving his time to make everyone’s experience at Northwestern State a better one.
“Those parts of his personality fit in line with what the Campbell Trophy represents, and we feel Gavin is a perfect representation of those.”
Landry’s selection marks the second straight year a Demon has reached this stage as offensive lineman Chris Zirkle was a Campbell Trophy semifinalist in 2019.
He is one of three Southland Conference nominees, joining Abilene Christian’s Jack Gibbens and Lamar’s Bailey Giffen.
The NFF will announce 12-to-14 finalists in November, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Later this year, one member of the class will be declared as the winner of the 31st Campbell Trophy and have his postgraduate scholarship increased to $25,000.