Bates and Belin IV selected to 2022 NFF Team of Distinction


IRVING, Texas – Duke football freshmen Travis Bates and Henry Belin IV were selected to the 2022 NFF Team of Distinction, announced by the National Football Foundation (NFF) and the College Hall of Fame.

Both Blue Devils were part of the 82-member class, which was chosen from a pool of 3,500 college-athletes from a national network of chapters. As part of its mission to promote the ideal of the varsity athlete, the initiative allows the NFF to honor top high school varsity athletes from across the country as the best and brightest at the grassroots level while highlighting the work of the NFF Chapter Network. .

Bates was a winner from the southern region, while Belin IV represented the eastern region.

Bates spent four years at Berkeley Preparatory in Tampa, Florida. He rushed for 3,845 yards in 44 career games and rushed for 2,045 yards as a senior, the second most rushing yards in school history. Bates led Berkeley Prep to a 35-9 record, including a 12-1 mark as a senior and helped the Buccaneers to the Florida State Championship game in 2021. He was team captain and 2021 Prime time preparations Offensive Player of the Year.

Belin IV scored three seasons at Cardinal Hayes High School in Bronx, NY. He completed 382 of 627 passes for 6,000 yards with 55 touchdowns and added 90 carries for 593 yards and 13 scores. Belin IV helped Cardinal Hayes to a 17-11 record, including two playoff appearances. The team captain and first-team all-state selection was twice Gatorade Player of the Year and won Monsignor Peters’ Golden Eleven award.

“This initiative allows us to shine a national spotlight on some of the most deserving high school student-athletes honored locally by our extensive network of chapters,” said NFF President Archie Manning. “This honor is one of the most prestigious national awards a high school player can receive. We would like to congratulate the 82 winners for their success on and off the court, especially with the challenges caused by the pandemic during their final year. We would also like to salute all of our NFF chapters who continue to play an important role in promoting the game of football in their communities.”

The team members all played their final season of high school football during the 2021-22 school year. As part of the award, all winners will be part of a permanent digital display at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Criteria for being on the team include, but are not limited to, academic achievement, athletic accolades, and community involvement. Each chapter is limited to one winner, which distinguishes him as the top athlete-scholar of all high schools covered by the chapter.


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