Southern Lehigh graduate Jake Del Priore has been selected as one of 36 finalists for the 2014 National Football Foundation High School National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
Del Priore, who holds most of the Spartans receiving records, was named the NFF local chapter's football scholar-athlete in March.
The NFF will name an award winner in each of the foundation's five regions as "the best and the brightest for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens at the high school level."
The five winners will be announced the week of October 9.
"The NFF Chapter Network continues to grow and excel, and their work this year has allowed us to identify these exceptional 36 scholar-athletes who have clearly established themselves among the best in the nation," NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said. "It will be a difficult task to select one from each region as the absolute best. Each possesses incredible talent in all facets of their lives, and it is a tremendous honor for us to highlight their accomplishments."
Del Priore, now at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ranked 12th out of 208 students in his graduating class with a 4.2 grade-point average. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, serving as treasurer, and a was a National Merit Scholar, Del Priore also was a member of the Libertarian Club, the Key Club, the Varsity Club and the Young Americans for Freedom Club while also serving as an "Angel" for a team in the Miracle Leagues of the Lehigh Valley.
On the field, Del Priore was a three-year starter at wide receiver and defensive back. As a senior he caught 64 passes for 1,006 yards — both school single-season records — and scored seven touchdowns. He ended his career with a Colonial League-record 144 catches for 2,330 yards and 19 TDs.
His receiving yards are third in league history behind Catasauqua's Paryss Marshall (2,541) and Wilson grad Kowan Scott (2,502).
With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members, the NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 4,800 high schools in 47 states each year.
The centerpiece of their efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation's top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships. From this pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes, the chapters nominate the finalists for the National Scholar-Athlete Awards.
A national committee will select and announce the five winners, one from each region, during the week of October 9.
The five winners will travel to New York City to be honored during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. First bestowed in 1991, the NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards have become one of the most prestigious high school honors in the country. Criteria for the award include but are not limited to academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement.
During the past 23 years, 101 student-athletes have been recognized as NFF High School National Scholar-Athletes, and this year will mark the 24th class of honorees. Recent recipients include Andrew Luck (2008, former Stanford and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback), Andrew Rodriguez (2008, Army linebacker and winner of the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy), Bryant Browning (2006, former Ohio State and current Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman) and Chris Prosinski (2006, former Wyoming and current Jacksonville Jaguars safety).
Other notable past recipients include Todd Helton (1992, former Tennessee quarterback and retired Colorado Rockies first baseman), Jon Stinchcomb (1998, a former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman), Drew Henson (1998, a former Michigan quarterback and professional football and baseball player) and Bobby Hoying (1991, a former Ohio State quarterback and winner of the 1995 William V. Campbell Trophy). Five NFF High School National Scholar-Athletes have gone on to win NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards for their accomplishments in college. They are Hoying, Eion Hu (1993, Harvard), Giovanni Carmazzi (1995, Hofstra), Rodriguez and Stinchcomb.
Following the December luncheon, the five 2014 recipients will attend the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, also at the Waldorf Astoria, as honored guests. As the culmination of the regular season, the evening event provides the stage for the induction of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, the bestowing of the 25th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy to the nation's top scholar-athlete; and the honoring of the 2014 NFF Major Award recipients.
Tickets for the December 9 luncheon in New York can be obtained at email@example.com or by calling 972-556-1000.
East Region Nominees
•Nicholas DeMarie from Hamilton High School North-Nottingham in Hamilton, N.J. Nominated by the NFF Delaware Valley (N.J.) Chapter and currently playing at the University of Pennsylvania.
•Jacob Del Priore from Southern Lehigh High School in Center Valley, Pa. Nominated by the NFF Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Chapter and currently playing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
•James Kretkowski from Oceanside High School in Oceanside, N.Y. Nominated by the NFF Nassau County (N.Y.) Chapter and currently playing at the University of Delaware.