Throughout Jake Chisholm’s Dayton football career, he was consistently among the FCS leaders in all-purpose yards from runs, receptions and returns.

That’s appropriate given how he’s long displayed diversity off the field.

The 23-year-old senior from Union, Kentucky, who will graduate from Dayton later this week, has been selected from 15 finalists – one from each FCS conference – as the 2022 recipient of the FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award.

Named after the former school teacher and the late wife of legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson, the eighth annual award is presented to an FCS student-athlete who excels not only on the playing field and in the classroom, but in the community and beyond. Chisholm will be honored at the FCS National Awards banquet on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.

Recently retired Dayton head coach Rick Chamberlin says Chisholm is “everything you would want in a college football player” – and it’s true.

Chisholm has a 3.98 grade-point average as a pre-med major with minors in biology and medicine in society. A two-time Pioneer Football League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, he was one of 15 finalists for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy, considered college football’s highest academic honor.

This season, the 5-foot-9, 191-pound Chisholm had 1,050 rushing yards to become the first Dayton player to surpass the century mark in three different seasons, and he scored 17 touchdowns. While compiling a Flyers’ all-time record 5,603 all-purpose yards, he led the FCS in per-game average in 2019 and ranked second in 2021.

Chisholm’s true calling, however, would appear to be a career in medicine, perhaps he says as a team doctor, but definitely with serving others. He has volunteered 99 hours with the Hospital Elder Life Program, working to prevent hospital-delirium in senior citizens through memory and motion activities.

“I’ve been in rooms with some patients where I’ve sat in there for almost an hour just talking to them, about anything – about their life (or) they ask me questions about what I do,” Chisholm said.

“You can tell it means a lot to them. And it means a lot to me that they’re open to have me sit down and talk with them.”

Chisholm has participated in other forms of community service, including the “Rebuilding Together Dayton” clean-up efforts, the Be the Match national bone marrow registry and “Christmas On Campus,” which brings underserved youth to UD to give them a positive start to Christmas. 

“It’s more of an internal responsibility – intrinsic motivation,” Chisholm said, “to be someone out in the community that is more of role model, I guess, for the school itself. The University of Dayton, I want to represent the school well just for everything they’ve given for me.”

In addition to FedEx Ground presenting the Doris Robinson Award, Stats Perform will present the Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) at the national banquet.


2022 FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Josh Anjorin, Alabama State (Southwestern Athletic Conference), OL, R-So., Douglasville, Georgia

Majoring in Biomedical Engineering, 3.8 GPA

Seth Carlisle, Tennessee Tech (Ohio Valley Conference), LB, Sr., Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee
Majoring in Biology Health Sciences (Pre-Dentistry concentration), 3.61

Jake Chisholm, Dayton (Pioneer Football League), RB, Sr., Union, Kentucky

Majoring in Pre-Medicine with minors in Biology and Medicine in Society, 3.98

McClendon Curtis, Chattanooga (Southern Conference), OL, R-Sr., Chattanooga, Tennessee

Working toward Master’s in School/Teacher Leadership, 3.30;Undergraduate degree in Sport Management

Robby Hauck, Montana (Big Sky Conference), S, R-Sr., Missoula, Montana  

Working toward Master’s in Management Information Systems and Business Administration, 3.95; Undergraduate degrees in Management Information Systems and Business Administration

Oso Ifesinachukwu, Yale (Ivy League), DL, Sr., Austin, Texas

Majoring in Biomedical Engineering, 3.67

Colt Jennings, Saint Francis (Northeast Conference), LB, R-So., Cleveland

Majoring in Psychology (Pre-Law concentration) with a minor in Sports Management, 3.58

Chukwuemeka Manning Jr., Austin Peay (ASUN), DL, Grad, Durham, North Carolina

Working toward Master’s in Health and Human Performance, 4.0; Undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central in Mass Communications (Broadcasting/Media concentration)

Justin Miller, Southern Utah (Western Athletic Conference), QB, R-Jr., Highland, Utah

Working toward Master’s of Business Administration, 3.80; Undergraduate degree in Management

Peter Oliver, Holy Cross (Patriot League), RB, Sr., Auburn, Massachusetts

Working toward double majors in Chemistry and Spanish, 3.95

Keshawn Thompson, Campbell (Big South Conference), LB, Grad, Hillsborough, North Carolina

Working toward Master’s of Business Administration and Management, 3.79; Undergraduate degree in Business Administration

Juan Velarde, North Carolina Central (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), P, R-Soph, Anderson, South Carolina

Majoring in Business Administration (Entrepreneurship concentration), 4.0

Tristan Wheeler, Richmond (CAA Football), LB, Jr., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Majoring in Health Studies, 3.32

Brennan Young, Houston Christian (Southland Conference), LB, Grad, Conroe, Texas

Working toward Master’s of Business Administration, 3.57; Undergraduate degree in Marketing

Adam Zavalney, North Dakota (Missouri Valley Football Conference), TE, Jr., Park River, North Dakota

Majoring in Psychology/Pre-Physical Therapy, 3.94