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CCU player receives NFF National Scholar-Athlete award

October 31, 2013

Niccolo Mastromatteo, a senior on the third-ranked Coastal Carolina football team, is one of 16 student-athletes from a pool of 171 semifinalists across all NCAA divisions and the NAIA to receive the National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Fidelity Investments. Mastromatteo, of Ortonville, Mich., earns a career 3.94 GPA in philosophy.

Each member of the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class will travel to New York City to be honored Dec. 10 during the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which includes the induction ceremony of this year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class, at the Waldorf-Astoria where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports. The Scholar-Athletes will be in the company of 12 College Football Hall of Fame honorees including legendary football greats Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami (1982, 1984-86); Ted Brown, TB, North Carolina State (1975-78); Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska (1992-95); and Danny Wueffel, QB, Florida (1993-96).

Each Scholar-Athlete honoree will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. During the event, one member will also be announced as the 24th recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation. The Campbell Trophy recipient will also be honored by the NFF Board of Directors.

“We are very proud of Niccolo’s achievements and contributions to our football program, but take even greater pride in this being an academic award,” said David DeCenzo, president of Coastal Carolina University. “This recognition illustrates Niccolo’s personal commitment to excellence and the high standard of personal success and accountability fostered by Coach Moglia and his program. This honor for Niccolo is indicative of the caliber of student we have at CCU and the dedication of the faculty, staff and coaches who recognize our most important University asset: our students.”

“Niccolo displays outstanding character on and off the field,” said CCU football headcoach Joe Moglia. “He truly demonstrates what it means to be a man and accept responsibility for himself. We couldn’t be more proud of Niccolo and his NFF National Scholar-Athlete honor.”

Mastromatteo ranks third on the team with 23 receptions this season and has scored two touchdowns boosting Coastal Carolina’s offense rank among the NCAA FCS leaders in numerous categories. He is a four-time All-Big South honoree: first team honors in 2012 as a punt returner, second team honors in 2012 as a wide receiver and second team honors in 2010 and ’11 as a punt returner.

For his career, Mastromatteo is the Big South’s all-time leader in both punt returns (73) and punt return yards (606). In the CCU record book, he ranks fifth in all-purpose yards (2,437), seventh in receptions (71) and receiving yards (809). He additionally has the longest pass play in CCU history, being on the receiving end of an 81-yard touchdown at Gardner-Web in 2012. He has the longest punt return in school history, with a 91-yard return versus Charleston Southern in 2010, and he tied a CCU single-game record with 10 receptions versus Eastern Kentucky in 2012.

In addition to his on-field success, Mastromatteo is a three-time Big South Presidential Scholar, 2012 Academic All-Big South, 2012 FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star, College Sports Journal FCS All-Academic Team, a four-time CCU President’s List honoree (4.0 for an academic semester) and two-time Dean’s List honoree (GPA between 3.5-3.99 for an academic semester).

“We are extremely proud to present the 2013 National Scholar-Athlete Class,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “With an average GPA of 3.79, these young men have a discernible and unrelenting commitment to excellence in the classroom as well as on the field. This class represents all that is right about college football, and the members serve as living examples of our mission to build leaders through football.”

See official release and each student-athlete’s bio: