NCAA Division III Gagliardi Trophy finalists named by Jostens and Saint John's University, Minnesota, J-Club

December 12, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. December 12, 2008 Four senior quarterbacks have been named regional finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, awarded each year to honor the outstanding NCAA Division III football player. Sponsored by Jostens and the Saint John's University, Minnesota, J-Club, the Gagliardi Trophy recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

The regional winners are Jordan Berg, Augsburg College in the West Region; Jason Boltus, Hartwick College, East Region; Juan Joseph, Millsaps College, South Region; and Greg Micheli, Mount Union College, North Region. The winners emerged from a field of 10 finalists. Voting by the national selection committee concluded Tuesday, December 9.

The recipient of the 16th annual Gagliardi award will be announced Tuesday, December 16. The award will be presented on Thursday, December 18, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities leading up to the Division III National Championship game played in Salem on Saturday, December 20.

This year was the second year fans voted to rank the 10 finalists and cast an electronic ballot that collectively will be added to the 35 votes of the national selection committee. The national selection committee comprised of coaches, sports writers, community leaders and former Division III student-athletes enshrined in the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame.

The trophy is named for Saint John's University head football coach John Gagliardi, the first active head coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2006) and the coach with the best winning record in college football history with a record of 461-125-11 (.781). Gagliardi set the all-time win record on November 8, 2003.

West Region - Jordan Berg, Augsburg College (Minnesota), 6-2, 207. He is an all-conference performer and finished the season ranked number two in Division III in pass completions per game with 29.7, ranked number three in total passing yards with 3,226 and threw for over 300 yards in six games. He is physics major with a 3.80 GPA and volunteers at a local food shelf and with the Boys and Girls Clubs.

East Region - Jason Boltus, Hartwick College (New York), 6-4, 220. He topped the nation in 2008 with a single-game mark of 558 yards passing and led the nation with an average of 397.6 yards passing per game and is ranked number three in passing efficiency at 172.9. Boltus was named his conference's offensive player of the year. He is a pre-med major and is active with the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, campus blood drive and Habitat for Humanity.

South Region - Juan Joseph, Millsaps College (Mississippi), 6-2, 188. He completed nearly 70% of his passes for 2,778 yards and 28 touchdowns. He helped his NCAA playoff team attain Millsaps' first ever 10-victory season. Earlier this month, he received the Conerly Trophy given annually to the state's top college football player. A business major, he is a member of the Black Student Association and involved with the Deuce McCallister Catch 22 Foundation.

North Region - Greg Micheli, Mount Union College (Ohio), 6-3, 203. He is the nation's number one passer with a 215.8 rating on 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He directed the nation's top offense (551.43 yards/game) in a return to the playoffs. With a 3.84 GPA in physics and math, he recently was named recipient of an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame. Micheli is a member of the MUC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and volunteers in an elementary school program.

Additional information can be found at www.gojohnnies.com/gagliarditrophy

About Jostens

Minneapolis-based Jostens is a provider of products, programs and services that help people inspire achievement and preserve memories. The company's products include school yearbooks and memory books, OurHubbub® brand MemoryBooks, scholastic products such as class rings and graduation products, and products for athletic champions and their fans. Jostens is a subsidiary of Visant Corporation, a marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics sampling and educational publishing markets.

About Saint John's University J-Club

Founded in 1959, the Saint John's University J-Club is a dues-based booster organization of former Johnnie student-athletes, parents and fans, and plays a key role in support of the SJU varsity programs, intramurals and club sports.

Contact information:
Jostens - Rich Stoebe 952.830.3250
Saint John's University J-Club Thom Woodward 320.363.2586