Eric Watt wins Gagliardi Trophy

Eric Watt, with his trophy
Eric Watt is the ninth quarterback to win the Gagliardi Trophy in the award's 18-year history.
Photo by Ryan Coleman,

SALEM, Va. -- Trine quarterback Eric Watt was named the winner of the 2010 Gagliardi Trophy on Thursday night.

He was announced in front of a live audience and chosen over defensive end Matt Hoffman of Rowan and quarterbacks Kyle Ray of Franklin and Ben McLaughlin of Louisiana College.

The Gagliardi Trophy, which is Division III football's most prestigious individual award, recognizes a student-athlete's excellence in football, academics and community service.

Watt was surprised, even given his at least one-in-four chance of winning. 

"It was nerve-wracking. I'm glad they brought four finalists here. It was a great experience to have the three others here.

"I'm just glad it's over with now."

The revamped ceremony included an interview session with each of the four finalists along with the usual highlight and testimonial videos before the final announcement of the winner.