Stevenson a contender for Gagliardi Trophy
The honors are piling up for Wheaton College star linebacker Eric Stevenson.
According to the school's website, the 5-foot-10, 224 pound senior was tabbed as one of 13 semifinalists vying for this year’s Gagliardi Trophy, an award annually presented by famed jewelry-maker Jostens and Saint John’s University (Minnesota) to the most outstanding Division III player in recognition of legendary coach John Gagliaradi.
The Hall of Fame coach, who spent nearly six-decades in charge at Saint John's, retired in 2012 with a record 489 wins, the most in college football history. The award salutes “excellence in athletics, academics and community service.”
Stevenson, recently named College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Defensive player of the Year and First-Team All-CCIW, recorded a team-high 73 tackles for the Thunder this season, 9.5 of them for loss and two sacks. In each of the last three seasons, he led the Thunder in tackles, finishing his career with a total of 268.
The names of the final four finalists for the award will be released Dec. 6, with the winner named on Dec. 14.
The award’s selection committee comprises former small-college football players, former Gagliardi Trophy recipients, business leaders, academics and sports writers from around the country. In addition, fans can cast their ballots at D3football.com until Dec. 3.