Already a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, senior middle linebacker David Helton continued his successful 2014 campaign Wednesday with a selection as one of nine semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, according to an announcement by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
The nine student-athletes represent the qualities embodied by the award: integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
Helton tops the ACC with 10.44 tackles per game and leads the Blue Devils with 94 tackles.
Ballots to select the Lott IMPACT Trophy winner, and finalists, will be sent to more than 400 national voters, a panel that includes former coaches and players, members of the media, past Lott IMPACT Trophy winners and finalists as well as members of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the sponsors of the award.
• After playing a key role in Duke’s 27-10 victory at Syracuse on Saturday, junior punter Will Monday has been named the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week.
Against the Orange, Monday punted seven times, inducing six fair catches and another punt that was downed at the Syracuse 1. He averaged 45.14 yards a punt and had three pin the Orange inside the 20-yard line. Duke has not allowed a punt return since the Oct. 18 contest against Virginia.
East Carolina: Senior receiver Justin Hardy is one of 55 FBS players named to the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy watch list, which is given to the collegiate player who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.
A four-year starter at wide receiver, Hardy owns ECU career records for receptions (331), receiving yards (3,861) and touchdown catches (31) and needs 19 receptions to become the all-time FBS receptions record holder, which is currently held by former Oklahoma Sooner Ryan Broyles.
Hardy has at least two catches in each of his 44 games, recorded 13 100-yard and 12 double-digit career reception games. He has at least one touchdown catch in 27 games.
A native of Vanceboro, Hardy became the first Pirates receiver to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (1,105 in 2012, 1,284 in 2013) and needs 186 yards for his third in a row.
Hardy ranks among the FBS leaders in receptions per game (6th/8.1 pg), receiving yards per game (13th/101.8 pg), receiving yards (20th/814) and receiving TDs (35th/6), and with 186 more yards will become the 16th receiver in NCAA history to eclipse the 4,000-yard receiving mark.
The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to Arkansas in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected 63rd overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft but was killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children that have limited opportunities.
The winner will be announced Dec. 8.
Duke: Coach Dan Brooks announced the signing of Virginia Elena Carta of Udine, Italy, to a national letter of intent to attend Duke in fall 2015.
Carta, a member of the Italian National Team since 2010, owns seven career victories and is ranked No. 1 in the Italian National Order of Merit.
She has won the 2014 German Girls Open, 2014 Slovenian International Ladies Championship, 2014 French Ladies International Championship Trophee Esmond, 2013 Austrian Ladies International Championship, National Tournament Trofeo Umberto Agnelli in 2012, Italian National Tournament Citta di Milano in 2012 and the Leoncino D’oro di Venezia in 2010.
A member of the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup team for Europe, Carta also competed in the 2013 Junior Solheim Cup.