Gagliardi Trophy finalists announced

Eric Watt of Trine took home the hardware in 2010. Which of these 10 will in '11?
Photo by Ryan Coleman,

The 10 finalists for the 2011 Gagliardi Trophy were announced Tuesday morning, releasing the names that will be on the ballot in voting for Division III football's top student-athlete. This season, the winner will be announced in Salem, with four finalists present for the ceremony.

Last year, Trine quarterback Eric Watt brought home the trophy.

After screening the nominations, the SJU J-Club Board of Directors narrowed the field to 10 finalists. The 35-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee reviews the credentials, ranks the candidates 1-10 and casts their votes. Fan balloting, which will be available on, accounts for one collective ballot as well, for the fifth consecutive year. Fans may cast one ballot apiece. The award is presented by Jostens and the J-Club of St. John's University of Minnesota.

Voting will take place after Thanksgiving.

In its message to the voting panel, the Gagliardi Trophy administration reminded voters: "The Gagliardi Trophy is a football award but incorporates the philosophy of the well-rounded student-athlete."

All stats are through the end of the regular season.

Matt Blanchard 

UW-Whitewater senior quarterback, Lake Zurich, Ill.

Returning starter on defending national champions. Rated sixth in D-III passing efficiency at 167.59 (conference leader) on 19 TD passes with three interceptions. Physical education major. Active volunteer with programs for youth as well as senior citizens plus Special Olympics and Relay for Life.


Peter Bulandr

North Central (Ill.) senior defensive tackle, Long Grove, Ill.

Conference defensive player of the year on team with three league shutouts in 2011; had six sacks on the season. Economics major and member of three national academic honor societies. Extensive volunteer efforts supporting Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, food drives.

Alex Ferrar, Mount Union

Alex Ferrara

Mount Union senior safety, Independence, Ohio

Team leader on nation’s No. 1 ranked defense yielding an average of 7.1 points, 172.7 yards per game. Returned one of two interceptions for a touchdown. Business administration major; named academic all-American in 2010. Conducted community-relief mission trip to El Salvador; involved in local youth programs.

Chris Haupt

Chris Haupt

Widener junior quarterback, Bloomsburg, Pa.

Threw for 255.5 yards per game with 28 TDs and nine interceptions; directed offense to 47 points/game average (third in D-III). Engineering major. Volunteered in residential clean-up project and for Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and youth baseball clinic.

Dan Pitcher

Dan Pitcher

Cortland State senior quarterback, Cortland, N.Y.

Conference offensive MVP rated seventh nationally with 166.61 passing efficiency rating; had school record 29 TD passes (fifth most in D-III) with four interceptions. Sport management grad student received state post-graduate scholarship. Participated in bone marrow registry drive, volunteer coaching and Kids’ Day.

Alex Tanney

Alex Tanney

Monmouth senior quarterback, Normal, Ill.

Led D-III with 330.4 passing yards/game as team compiled top total offense (556.7 yards/game). Was third in passing efficiency (193.34 rating; 73 percent completions, 35 TDs, seven interceptions); fourth in total offense. Business major. Volunteer programs include college phone-a-thon, YMCA and youth reading readiness.

Alex Thiry

Alex Thiry

St. Scholastica senior quarterback from Cambridge, Minn.

Top-rated D-III passer with 235.54 efficiency rating; had 37 TD passes and one interception while completing 73.3% of his passes. Secondary education/social studies major. Volunteers with a variety of programs supporting Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Down Syndrome Walk, local schools.

Hewitt Tomlin

Hewitt Tomlin

Johns Hopkins senior quarterback from Jackson, Tenn.

Directed fourth-best D-III total offense with 500.3 yards/game in JHU’s first 10-0 season. Conference offensive player of the year with 23 TD passes, five interceptions. Public health major. Worked with summer day camp youth.

Fritz Waldvogel Fritz Waldvogel

St. Thomas senior wide receiver from Mendota Heights, Minn. Scored 12 TDs with 1,328 all-purpose yards, 865 coming on 54 receptions. Conference MVP as sophomore has league career returns for TD record. Finance major. Veteran volunteer at food drives, fundraisers and community cleanup efforts; Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominee.

Mike Zweifel Michael Zweifel

Dubuque senior wide receiver from Whitewater, Wis.

Topped all NCAA divisions with 12.7 receptions and 178 yards per game, 24 receiving TDs. Helped team to first Iowa Conference title in 31 years. Health/wellness/recreation major is only D-III finalist among 16 Campbell Trophy candidates. Active volunteer with campus projects and at local schools.