Trine University senior football player Lamar Carswell (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) has been named one of four finalists for the 2018 Gagliardi Trophy.
The four Gagliardi Trophy finalists were revealed by D3football.com on Thursday, December 6th, in a live streaming broadcast. The winner of the 2018 Gagliardi Trophy will be announced by D3football.com on Friday, December 14th prior to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
The two-time MIAA Offensive "Most Valuable Player" capped a standout playing career with a senior season that saw him rush for a school single-season record of 2,294 yards and also set single-season marks in rushing TDs (32), yards per game (208.5), all-purpose yards (2,319), all-purpose yards per game (210.8), total points scored (204) and total touchdowns scored (34; 32 rushing & two receiving). His 2,294 rushing yards this season currently leads all of NCAA Division III and his 208.5 yards per game average is also tops in the nation. He is currently second nationally in rushing TD (32) and scoring (18.5 points per game). Carswell also set a Trine and MIAA single-game record in rushing yards with his 359-yard performance against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College in the regular-season finale.
In all, Carswell ended his career with a combined 26 Trine career, season, single game and conference records that include being the program's all-time leader in rushing (5,364 yards), rushing TDs (74), rushing yards per game (137.5) and yards per rush (7.7).
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. John passed away this past fall at the age of 91.
The trophy design features a sculpture of Gagliardi and a player, representing the teacher-coach and the student-athlete in a one-on-one sideline consultation. Hand-cast in bronze on a polished wood base, the trophy stands nearly two feet tall and weighs approximately 64 pounds. The words "The Gagliardi Trophy presented by Jostens & J-Club" are printed on the acrylic panel behind the figures. The words "Division III 2018 Player of the Year" and "Honoring Excellence in Football, Academics and Community Service" are etched on two panels below the figures.
Nominations were submitted by colleges across the country, and 13 semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The semifinalists then moved on to the Gagliardi Trophy national-selection committee, which is comprised of 39 former small college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academicians and sports writers from around the country. Each cast a ballot ranking the semifinalists. A fan ballot, which served as the 40th committee member was operated on D3football.com had nearly 17,000 votes cast.
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