Some fans may not know it, but Matt Handlon ’06, a starting safety on the football team, has been as successful academically as he has been athletically.

Because of his efforts on the gridiron and in the classroom, Handlon has been named a semi-finalist for the 2005 Draddy Trophy by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. According to the Web site of the National Football Foundation, the Draddy Trophy recognizes the individual who best combines football performance, academic success, and community leadership. Handlon, an Economics major with a 3.7 GPA, was one of five Ivy League football players who was named to the list of 184 semi-finalists.

Handlon said he has always worked to be more than just a football player.

“A lot of good football players are not highly respected, so its truly an honor to be recognized for everything I do,” he said.

Handlon said football has helped him keep hitting the books because he does not have the time to procrastinate.

“It’s definitely difficult to balance time, but football puts you in this time set where you go to practice, come back, and do work instead of dilly-dallying,” he explained. “Going to a school like Yale I figure we have more opportunities than anywhere else and I really want to do what I can to succeed at the highest level.”

The NFF Awards committee will choose 15 finalists on Oct. 27.

-Yale Daily News