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Hennigan named to National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech defensive back Taylor Hennigan, named as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete in February, added another honor on Thursday when he was named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society for outstanding academic achievement.

Hennigan was one of 703 student-athletes from 259 institutions at all levels of college football who received the prestigious recognition. Honorees had to be seniors in their final season of eligibility who maintained at least a 3.20 GPA throughout their undergraduate careers.  It marked the highest school participation in the history of the program, which began in 2007.

Hennigan was Tech's 2012 winner of the University Scholar-Athlete award, presented annually by the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the NFF. The son of Mike and Leslie Hennigan of Cookeville, Taylor owns a 3.5 GPA in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Wellness - Teacher Licensure. A four-year letterman, Hennigan wrapped up his career on the field and has also been active representing Tech off the field in a variety of roles. 

In addition to volunteering with the Better Business Bureau and Habitat for Humanity, he is a member of the EXPW Major Club. He has been a regular on both the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Tech Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

On the field, he played free safety, strong safety, wide receiver and long snapper during his four seasons, and won the Tech Pride Award. 

"Taylor is an outstanding young man," said TTU head coach Watson Brown. "It has been an honor to coach him."

Hennigan is one of only four players in the Ohio Valley Conference to receive the honor in 2013, joining Patrick Ford and Nick Vicini of Eastern Kentucky, and Zach Lane of Austin Peay.

Qualifications for membership in the NFF Hampshire Honor Society include: Being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university; Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements and graduation.

"The growing number of schools involved in the Hampshire Honor Society each year shows that football student-athletes not only play at the highest level but that they are some of the best students on campus as well," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Congratulations to each of these young men for their commitment to education and their leadership on and off the football field."

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization's leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs nationwide. The initiative has honored 4,081 student-athletes since its inception.

Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as a chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year's Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating their achievement.

"We have honored more than 4,000 student-athletes in the last seven years thanks to Jon Hanson's generosity," said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, "We are humbled by his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow's leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps."