FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves has been around a lot of players in his 30 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level.
According to Hargreaves, none have been more intelligent than current Razorbacks’ senior Brooks Ellis. The middle linebacker with 36 career starts was recently named one of 12 finalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, an award regarded as the “Academic Heisman.”
“(Ellis is) probably the smartest,” Hargreaves said. “I had a guy a few years back at Miami (Jonathan Vilma). He was very intelligent and also a very good player. But Brooksie probably tops them all. He is a 4.0 student and going to be a doctor and all those types of things. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Ellis will be in New York on Dec. 6 for the presentation of the Campbell Trophy. He and the 11 other finalist will each receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship with the winner having their scholarship increased to $25,000.
The Fayetteville native is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member with a 3.8 GPA as a pre-professional exercise science major. He intends on pursuing a career as a doctor after football.
On the field, Ellis is seventh in the SEC on tops on the team with 57 tackles through eight games. He is a two-year team captain for the Razorbacks.