Velarde Named University Scholar-Athlete by NFF Dooley Chapter

Raleigh, N.C. – Juan Velarde, a punter at North Carolina Central University, received one of the five Bill Dooley Chapter 2024 University Scholar-Athlete awards from the National Football Foundation on Monday.
Earning the distinction this year, along with Velarde, are Anthony Carter Jr. (NC State), DeWayne Carter (Duke), Rahjai Harris (East Carolina), and Christopher Holliday (North Carolina).
Velarde, a punter from Anderson, S.C., was a mainstay for the Eagles’ kicking game. During the 2023 season, he accounted for 51 punts for an average of 44 yards, totaling 2,042 yards on the season. He had 15 punts down inside the 20-yard line and eight kicks for 50 or more yards. He also handled kickoff duties, accounting for 2,691 yards and six touchbacks. Velarde excelled not only as a standout kicker but also in the classroom, graduating with a degree in business administration with a concentration in management in December 2023 and currently enrolled in the MBA program. He is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the University Honors Program, and the NC Governor’s Advisory Council for Hispanic and Latino Affairs (Economic Development, Subcommittee).
This was Velarde’s second time receiving the NFF Dooley Chapter-University Scholar-Athlete Award.
Past Recipients of the NFF Dooley Chapter’s University Scholar-Athlete Award
2023: Myles Berry, East Carolina University; Darius Joiner, Duke University; Davius Richard, North Carolina Central University; Asim Richards, University of North Carolina; Payton Wilson, North Carolina State University
2022: Ben Frye, Duke University; Sam Howell, University of North Carolina; Timothy McKay, North Carolina State University; Juan Velarde, North Carolina Central University; Jireh Wilson, East Carolina University