Four Wildcats Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society

Four Wildcats Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four members of the University of Kentucky football team – Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald, Luke Fortner, Zach Johnson and Josh Paschal – were named to the 2021 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, announced by the NFF & College Hall of Fame.  

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and sprint football who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. An elite group of 1,559 players from 313 schools qualified for membership in the Society’s 16th year.  

Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have:  

  • Completed their final year of playing eligibility in Fall 2021;  

  • Graduated players, who have remaining eligibility but will not return to collegiate play (e.g. declared for NFL Draft or retired from football), may also be nominated.  

  • Attained a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale);  

  • Met all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements; and  

  • Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2021 season. 

Abadi-Fitzgerald, of Lakeland, Florida, played in 12 games in 2021 with nine starting assignments at defensive end, totaling 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Originally from Nigeria before moving to Florida at the age of 12, Abadi-Fitzgerald graduated last May with a degree in communication. 

Fortner, a native of Sylvania, Ohio, started at center in all 13 games for the Wildcats. He was named Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference and was a Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American. He graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineering and went on to complete his master’s degree requirements in aerospace engineering. He also began working on a second master’s degree in business administration in June of 2021 and is also on track to graduate with his MBA this spring. 

Johnson was a safety/kickoff returner from Cincinnati who had 14 kickoff returns for 259 yards in 13 games in 2021. He graduated with a degree in health promotion in December of 2020 and went on to earn a master’s degree in sport leadership in December of 2021. 

Paschal, of Prince George’s County Maryland, was a First-Team All-SEC standout at defensive end after starting in 12 games and totaling 53 tackles, a team-high 15.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, a team-high eight quarterbacks hurries, one forced fumble and a blocked kick. He was named the 2021 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team member. He graduated in May of 2021 with a degree in family science and a minor in health promotion. 

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