College Football Award

Thompson named Campbell Trophy award finalist


Wabash College senior quarterback Liam Thompson is one of 16 finalists selected by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy. The award is presented each season to college football’s premier scholar-athlete.

Thompson is one of 16 finalists selected from a record number of 201 semifinalists from all NCAA divisions and the NAIA. Thompson receives the Coach Lou Saban Scholar-Athlete Award, an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship endowed by George M. Steinbrenner III, as a member of the 2023 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments.

Thompson, a rhetoric major and film and digital media and Spanish double-minor with a 3.87 cumulative grade point average, earned College Sports Communicators Academic All-America honors in 2022 and is a two-time North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award recipient. He was named to the Manning Award “watch list” and the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl preliminary roster. Thompson also served three seasons as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy.

“This is never something I would have expected,” Thompson said. “Awards and records have never been a goal of mine. This award speaks to the quality of all my teammates and all the good people at Wabash who have pushed me and allowed me to grow here. I’m grateful for that experience and for being named a Campbell Trophy finalist.”

Wabash College President Scott Feller complimented Thompson not only on his play on the field but for what he’s done off of it.

“Liam is a top-flight scholar-athlete and generational quarterback,” Feller said. “He has been a leader in the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship, guiding teams of students who work with local businesses and non-profits on market research and business plan development. Liam’s statistics are gaudy by any measure, but when he set the single-game record with seven passing touchdowns last November, he had to be told after the fact that he had toppled the 20-year-old record set by All-American Jake Knott,” added President Feller. “Liam wants only to win, and his selfless, team-first attitude inspires and motivates all 115 players on our football team – indeed all 830 men on our campus.”

A four-time team captain and starter since arriving as a freshman in 2019, Thompson broke the North Coast Athletic Conference career record for total offense earlier this season after setting new school and conference records for single-season passing yards and total offense in 2022. He earned the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2021 and 2022 and was a first team all-conference selection in both seasons. Thompson was named to the all-Region 4 second team in 2021 and 2022.

Last year, as a junior, Thompson was Division III’s leading passer with 3,588 yards and completed 70% of his passes. He threw 34 touchdown passes and ran for seven more in an offense that averaged more than
42 points per game.

As a freshman and North Central High School (IN) graduate, Thompson guided the Little Giants to a share of the NCAC title and an NCAA playoff berth by throwing for 2,177 yards and 15 touchdowns and running for 263 yards and five scores. He earned NCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year honors as a freshman, earning second team all-conference honors.

“This is a great honor for Liam, the Wabash football program, and the college,” Little Giant Head Coach Don Morel added. “In my 32 years of coaching college football, I have never been around a more outstanding student-athlete than Liam Thompson. He has handled the pressure of being the star player, star student, and a leader on our campus in a humble manner.”

Thompson is an innovation consultant with the Wabash Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship, where he researched and developed a feasibility study of a commerce platform. He interned at Eli Lilly and Company and The Peakstone Group, where he worked as a research analyst for the top-rated middle market investment firm.

Thompson is also a member of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies at Wabash and serves as an admissions ambassador for the College. Thompson studied at Universidad Nebrija in Madrid, Spain, in 2022 and received Agile Project Management certification from the University of Maryland School of Business in 2021.

Thompson and the other Campbell Trophy finalists will be honored at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame annual awards dinner at the ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 5, where the Campbell Trophy winner will be announced.