April 15, 2020 – The National Football and College Football Hall of Fame (NFF) named Temple football players Matt Hennessy and Zack Mesday as members of the 2020 NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
The Society, sponsored by the Hampshire Companies in conjunction with the NFF, honors college football players who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA throughout their college careers. The program encourages academic performance by student-athletes at 775 college and universities with football programs. There are now 12,127 student athletes that have been recognized since its inception.
Hennessy graduated with a degree in finance earning a 3.66 GPA, and was named the American Athletic Conference Student-Athlete of the Year in 2019. He played in 38 games over his career. Hennessy was the captain of the offensive line and earned a coveted single-digit in 2018. The Bardonia, NY native was named to numerous All-America honors and was selected as an all-conference first team honoree. Hennessy was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy given to the player considered to be the top center in college football. Hennessy could have returned for another season but decided to pursue and NFL career.
Mesday was a member of the Owls football team for six seasons. He was granted eligibility after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with back injuries. Mesday completed a master’s degree program in Education with a 3.37 GPA. The Bordentown, NJ native played numerous defensive positions. In two full seasons Mesday played defensive end and made 58 tackles, 14.5 resulted in lost yardage for the opponent’s offense. He had 8.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.
To be nominated for the NFF Hampshire Honor society the player, nominated by his school, must have: completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2019. Graduated players are potential nominees but have decided not to return to college football play; Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout their entire course of graduate study; Met all NCAA – or NAIA – mandated progress toward degree requirements and; Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2019 season.
Written By: Glenn Papazian