November 20, 2012

Gagliardi finalists announced

Dubuque's Michael Zweifel won the Gagliardi Trophy in 2011. Will his quarterback win it in 2012?
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

The 10 finalists for the 2012 Gagliardi Trophy were announced, 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, Dubuque wide receiver Michael Zweifel brought home the trophy. The award is named for legendary St. John's coach John Gagliardi, who recently announced his retirement after 64 years as a collegiate head coach.

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 D3football.com, accounts for one collective ballot as well, for the fifth consecutive year. Fans will be permitted to 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 Nov. 17.


Zach Autenrieb

Thomas More senior defensive back, Cincinnati, Ohio

Autenrieb intercepted eight passes this season, returning two of them for touchdowns, and broke up five other passes. He intercepted 32 passes in his career, best in Division III history. The accounting major has participated in Thomas More's efforts with Special Olympics and the school's Relay for Life fundraising. He has also been involved with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.


Driskill

Nick Driskill

Mount Union senior defensive back, Wabash, Ind.

The Purple Raiders' leading tackler, Driskill has 63 stops, 43 of them solo. He has also broken up six passes, forced two fumbles and has 13 and a half tackles for loss. The exercise science major has received an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation, one of two players in Division III so honored. He has worked with the department's on-campus trick and treat community initiative and has been a camp counselor.


McCallum Foote

McCallum Foote

Middlebury junior quarterback, Newton, Mass.

Foote threw for 2,897 yards in Middlebury's eight-game season, averaging 362 yards per gane. He completed 64 percent of his passes, throwing 31 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. The economics major works with the school's Leadership Team for Team Impact Program, as liaison to a 10-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis. He is a volunteer coach for Special Olympics basketball at Middlebury, a Relay for Life participant and worked on Tropical Storm Irene relief.


Wyatt Hanus

Wyatt Hanus

Dubuque senior quarterback, Traer, Iowa

Hanus completed 66 percent of his passes this season for the 5-5 Spartans, throwing 27 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions and averaged 316.5 yards per game. Hanus, who has a double major in accounting and business marketing, has been an organizer of the campus' Special Olympics spring event. He helped organize campus fundraising for an area shelter for homeless women and children, as well as one for Alzheimers awareness. He also volunteers at a local YMCA and officiates youth soccer.


Luke Heinsohn

Luke Heinsohn

Washington & Lee senior running back/kicker, Charlottesville, Va.

Heinsohn finished the season with 1,253 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground, while also kicking W&L's only two field goals on the season and going 48-for-52 on extra points for the 8-3 Generals. The business administration major volunteers for the W&L Campus Kitchen project and is music director for the Reformed University Fellowship. He's also helped build homes on a mission trip to Bolivia, tutored with an outreach program in his hometown, participated in Relay for Life and for a Multiple Sclerosis Society bike tour.


Curtis James

Curtis James

St. Thomas senior center, Edina, Minn.

The multiple-year starter for the Tommies, who finished the regular season 10-0, James was an All-American selection at center last year. He has helped block for 40 100-yard rushing performances in the past four seasons and leads an offensive line that has allowed just 38 sacks in his 50 games. James, a business communication major, is the head coach of Edina High School's Speech team, a fundraiser for St. Jude's Medical Center and was selected Intern of the Year at Allianz Life Insureance in the summer of 2011.


Noah Joseph Noah Joseph

Union senior linebacker from Chevy Chase, Md.

Joseph led Union with 105 tackles, 48 solo, while breaking up three passes and intercepting another for the 6-4 Dutchmen. He also had three and a half tackles for loss. The chemistry and sociology major is the founder of the Union College Alumni Speaker Series and volunteers for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation as well as mentors students at an area elementary school.


Craig Sykes

Craig Sykes

Heidelberg senior linebacker from Centerburg, Ohio.

Sykes led the Student Princes with 87 tackles, including 60 of them solo. He had six and a half tackles for loss and a sack and a half, while intercepting two passes and breaking up five others as Heidelberg went 9-2. A biology major with a pre-med emphasis, Sykes volunteers with special needs students, participates in a pen pal program with a yearly service trip to the U.S./Mexico border area. He has interned with MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and works in an emergency room in Findlay, Ohio.


Nate Wara

Nate Wara

UW-Oshkosh senior quarterback from Oshkosh, Wis.

Wara has completed 64 percent of his passes and thrown 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions for the 11-0 Titans. He's thrown for 234 yards per game and rushed for 62.6 as well, with seven touchdowns on the ground. The physical education major has volunteered with the Oshkosh Feeding American food pantry, as well as area YMCA, Boys & Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity. Wara has also volunteered with Old Glory Honor Flights, an organization which brings World War II veterans to Washington to see the memorials built in their honor.


Scottie Williams Scottie Williams

Elmhurst senior running back from Woodridge, Ill.

Williams is 72 yards short of 2,000 for the season for the 10-1 Bluejays, including 21 touchdowns. He's also caught 22 passes for 174 yards and a pair of scores. The marketing major participated in the school's President's Interfaith & Community Service project and was part of a Habitat for Humanity group that helped build houses in Mississippi. He has helped raise funds for a local group that helps people with disabilities, as well as Relay for Life.


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