Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists announced

Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan went from being the 2015 Gagliardi Trophy winner to being on a 2016 NFL team roster.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

The 10 semifinalists for the 2016 Gagliardi Trophy have been announced, releasing the names on the ballot in voting for Division III football's top student-athlete. The winner will be announced in Salem, with four finalists present for the ceremony. The ceremony, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, will be aired live by D3sports.com.

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Nine seniors and one junior make up the 10 semifinalists for the trophy, which is awarded by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University of Minnesota.

The candidates include four linebackers, two quarterbacks, two running backs, one defensive lineman and one safety.

After screening the nominations, the SJU J-Club Board of Directors narrowed the field to 10 finalists. The 40-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee reviews the credentials, ranks the candidates 1-10 and casts their votes. Fan balloting, which is available on D3football.com, accounts for the 41st ballot, and is being conducted on D3football.com for the eighth consecutive year. Fans will be permitted to cast one ballot per device, through 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 5. 

The Gagliardi Trophy, given annually since 1993, recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. The award is named after John Gagliardi, Saint John's legendary Hall of Fame head football coach who retired in 2012 with 489 career victories, the most in college football history.

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."

Matt Barnes Matt Barnes

Monmouth senior linebacker; Colfax, Ill.

Is Monmouth’s leader in total tackles (108), solo tackles (38) and assisted tackles (70)…captained a defense that led Division III in both scoring defense (8.4 ppg.) and passing defense (116.4 ypg.), third in total defense (199.0 ypg.), fifth in first downs allowed (107) and fifth in third-down defense (.240)…recipient of Tom Johnson academic scholarship, awarded to college’s top business student…three-time Academic All-Conference…2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District…six-time Dean’s List honoree…assisted with Mortar Board Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser.

John Flood John Flood

UW-Whitewater senior defensive lineman; Spring Grove, Ill.

All-WIAC first-team selection…had 19 tackles, including three for a loss and one fumble recovery…anchors a defense that ranked second in NCAA Division III in red-zone defense (.457) and takeaways (39)…three-time WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll…eight-time Dean’s List honoree…currently working with an on-campus project collecting data from a space telescope sponsored by NASA…contributes to Special Olympics, Warhawk Leadership Academy and the team’s annual food drive.

Carter Hanson Carter Hanson

St. John's senior linebacker; Blue Earth, Minn.

Is the only D-III finalist for the 2016 NFF Campbell Trophy, which is awarded to the top scholar-athlete in college football…leading tackler (62) on a defense that ranked second in Division III in both total defense (195.6 ypg.) and pass-efficiency defense (84.65), third in both rushing defense (60.0 ypg.) and first downs allowed (106), and fourth in scoring defense (10.7 ppg.)…2015 CoSIDA Academic All-American…helped establish a sustainable food source for a village in Haiti during January 2016…volunteers with Kids Against Hunger, Special Olympics and Tackle Cancer, and raised money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital…is SJU’s SAAC president.

Trevor Heitland Trevor Heitland

Coe senior running back; Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

IIAC’s Offensive Most Valuable Player…led NCAA Division III in all-purpose yards per game (217.6) and was second in rushing yards (1,619) and ninth in total touchdowns (18)…had four 200-yard rushing games during the regular season…contributes to Meals on Wheels, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Read Across America and various youth football camps.

A.J. LiCata A.J LiCata

Alfred junior linebacker; Lake View, N.Y.

Led team with 110 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks…2016 CoSIDA Academic All-District…four-time Dean’s List honoree…contributes to Autumn View Skilled Nursing Facility, Concern for Youth of Hornell and various basketball camps in his hometown…participates in team’s annual Community Cleanup Day…serves as teaching assistant for a Business Perspectives class and is a SAAC representative.

Baylor Mullins Baylor Mullins

Mary Hardin-Baylor senior safety/punter; Merkel, Texas

Led UMHB in interceptions (4) and was second in total tackles (62) and pass breakups (6)…captained a defense that led Division III in tackles for loss (10.4 per game) and defensive touchdowns (7), was third in takeaways (35), fourth in interceptions (22) and 10th in rushing defense (69.9 ypg.)…three-time Academic All-Conference…contributes to Palo Alto Middle School Mentorship Program, Bell County Juvenile Big Brother/Big Sister Mentorship Program, Hope for the Hungry and Fellowship of Christian Athletes…is a SAAC representative.

Sam Riddle Sam Riddle

Linfield senior quarterback; Hillsboro, Ore.

Two-time NWC Offensive Player of the Year…finished sixth in Division III in yards per pass attempt (10.01) and tied for ninth with 31 passing touchdowns in nine games…produced 2,714 yards of total offense…set career records for total offense and touchdowns responsible for at Linfield…helped raise money for the team sponsorship of two young men from Africa and Bolivia through World Vision, and to provide food for a local family over Christmas.

J.J. Tomlin J.J. Tomlin

Washington U. senior quarterback; Franklin, Tenn.

Tied for fourth in Division III in passing touchdowns (35) and fifth in both passing yards (3,539) and passing yards per game (353.9)…threw for over 300 yards in eight of the 10 regular-season games, including two over 400 yards…is WASHU’s SAAC president…serves as vice president for school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which works with Special Olympics, food drives, shoe drives and various service projects in the area.


Cory Ward Cory Ward

Hardin-Simmons senior linebacker; San Antonio, Texas

Led the team in total tackles (105), solo tackles (50), assisted tackles (55), tackles for loss (13), sacks (6) and forced fumbles (3)…became the 11th player to recorded 100 tackles in a season in school history…volunteered with Special Olympics and is active in the school’s criminal justice club, as well as the Reading with the Cowboys program at local elementary schools.

Dayton Winn Dayton Winn

Hendrix senior running back; Pea Ridge, Ark.

Third in Division III in rushing touchdowns (22), fourth in yards per carry (7.89) and fifth in all-purpose yards (188.8 ypg.)…totaled 1,670 yards from scrimmage (1,372 rushing and 298 receiving)…was a 2015 Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist…volunteers with Activate Men, an on-campus service that escorts female students when walking alone on campus…is a residential assistant for the school’s housing department…participated in an unpaid internship over the summer with the Arkansas Rush youth soccer club, and volunteers with Angel Tree, which provides new clothing and toys for children for Christmas.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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