University of South Dakota graduating senior football player Chris Ganious was named to the 2012 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Hampshire Honor Society, the organization announced Wednesday.
The Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average or better throughout their college career, had a total of 721 players from 232 schools qualified for membership in the society's sixth year, marking this year's class the largest since the program's creation in 2007.
Ganious, a running back from Houston, TX, is quite familiar with the National Football Foundation as he earned the prestigious honor earning an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship this year by being named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which goes to the best scholar-athlete in the nation in December. Ganious earned NFF National Scholar-Athlete honors this season, and was one of 16 finalists out of 127 nominations across all divisions of college football for the William V. Campbell Trophy. United States Military Academy (Army) linebacker Andrew Rodriguez earned the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Ganious has had a stellar career for the Coyotes both on and off the field. He moved into third all-time in rushing this season in school history with 2,760 yards. He surpassed Jared Schwenn (1994-97) on Sept. 10, 2011, with 85 yards as the Coyotes upset then-No. 1 and defending national champion Eastern Washington University 30-17 in the DakotaDome. Ganious lettered all four years as a Coyote and earned All-Great West Conference first team honors as a sophomore and junior. He led the team with 817 yards rushing in 2010 finishing second in the league. As a sophomore, he led the conference in rushing and was named South Dakota's Offensive Player of the Year. As a redshirt freshman, he also led the team in rushing (755 yards) and was named USD's Harry Gamage Most Valuable Freshman in 2008.
In the classroom, Ganious' accomplishments are just as impressive. He carries a 3.81 GPA in psychology and will attend P.A. school at Wichita State University in the fall. He is a two-time Great West Academic All-Conference selection and earned CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors in 2009 and was first team CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America selection in 2011. He is a two-time FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) ADA Academic All-Star and had the prestigious honor of representing South Dakota at the NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference in May of 2009 in Orlando, FL.
Ganious also has participated in a number of extra-curricular activities as he is the Co-President of SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and nominated for Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year (July 2011). He was named Outstanding Junior in the Psychology Department in May 2010 and was a member of the Gender Equity Oversight Committee on Title IX (March 2010), while serving on the Athletic Director search committee (January 2010).
In addition, Ganious also has done numerous volunteer activities including wheelchair basketball (February 2010), volunteered at a nursing home (June 2011) and at the Children's Home and Aid Rice Center (July 2011), to name a few.