|Brett Kasper is just the second WIAC player and second player from a state school to win the Gagliardi Trophy.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
All-time Gagliardi Trophy winners
Mount Union players have won the Gagliardi Trophy seven times, while St. John's has won three times and Wesley twice. Here's the full list:
|2016||Carter Hanson||LB||St. John's|
|2014||Kevin Burke||QB||Mount Union|
|2013||Kevin Burke||QB||Mount Union|
|2008||Greg Micheli||QB||Mount Union|
|2003||Blake Elliott||WR/RET||St. John's|
|2002||Dan Pugh||RB||Mount Union|
|2001||Chuck Moore||RB||Mount Union|
|2000||Chad Johnson||QB||Pacific Lutheran|
|1997||Bill Borchert||QB||Mount Union|
|1996||Lon Erickson||QB||Illinois Wesleyan|
|1995||Chris Palmer||WR||St. John's|
|1993||Jim Ballard||QB||Mount Union|
UW-Oshkosh quarterback Brett Kasper was named winner of the 2017 Gagliardi Trophy on Wednesday night, Dec. 13, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities surrounding Stagg Bowl XLV.
Kasper beat out other finalists in UW-La Crosse wide receiver Nick Holcomb, Wartburg quarterback Matt Sacia and Springfield running back Jordan Wilcox to take home the trophy.
Kasper completed 65 percent of his passes in leading UW-Oshkosh to the national semifinals. Kasper threw for 3,025 yards and 34 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. But more importantly, he is a champion of the Be The Match program, and his bone marrow matched with Phoenix Bridegroom, a now-11-year-old girl from Indiana. His bone marrow saved her life.
"Talk about bittersweet. I sat in this very room last year with a different perspective," Kasper said. "Sitting out there and looking up here I tried envisioning myself being nominated as one of the four finalists for the highest award in Division III football. I'm not going to lie -- it was tough to envision that last year, due to the prestigious award that it is, and the caliber of player that is nominated for it. But if anything, it fueled the belief that I could be, and that was enough."
"He's been this kid ever since I met him as a high school senior, and it's too good a story," said Oshkosh coach Pat Cerroni. "Someone like him, everything's too good. There's no flaws. And I'm really proud of him."
Holcomb was the runner-up in the voting. Trine quarterback Evan Wyse was the winner of the fan voting, conducted on D3football.com.
The other Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists were North Central running back Austin Breunig, Wesley tackle Matt Gono, East Texas Baptist linebacker Ty Parsons, Husson running back John Smith, Trine quarterback Evan Wyse and Washington & Jefferson wide receiver Jesse Zubik.
You can watch the archived broadcast below.