MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The J-Club of St. John's University and Jostens have announced that Washington and Lee senior running back/placekicker Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) is one of four finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which will be presented on Wednesday, December 12 in Salem, Va.
The trophy, which honors the most outstanding football player in Division III, will be awarded to one of the four finalists at a banquet kicking-off a series of Division III Stagg Bowl championship events at the Salem Civic Center.
Heinsohn will be joined by senior defensive back Zach Autenrieb of Thomas More, senior quarterback Nathan Wara from Wisconsin-Oshkosh and senior running back Scottie Williams from Elmhurst.
The winner is determined by a national selection committee composed of 38 former small college football players, business leaders, academics and sports writers from around the country. Each committee member casts a ballot ranking 10 finalists. College football fans also voted online; their tally represented one collective ballot. Williams received the highest number of online fan votes with 20,489 total online votes.
The Gagliardi Trophy, given annually since 1993, recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service. The award is named after John Gagliardi, St. John's legendary Hall of Fame head football coach who retired in November with 489 career victories, the most in college football history.
A brief capsule of the four finalists can be found below:
Zach Autenrieb, Thomas More College (Kentucky) senior DB accounting major
National D-III leader with 8 interceptions in 2012 (2 returned for TDs); 32 INTs for his career. Honor roll student. Volunteer engagement includes Special Olympics and Relay for Life.
Luke Heinsohn, W&L (Virginia) senior RB/PK business administration major
National scoring leader (all divisions) with 180 points (21 TDs); kicked FG in 4-overtime win. Team advanced to the D-III national tournament. Off-field engagement includes American Cancer Society, Bike MS and directing fellowship music program.
Nathan Wara, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh senior QB physical education major
Helped team to first-ever playoff berth; threw 22 TDs and 1 INT in 10 regular-season games. Team has advanced to the D-III national semi-finals. Member all-conference honor roll. Volunteer engagement includes food pantry, Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity.
Scottie Williams, Elmhurst College (Illinois) senior RB marketing major
Conference offensive player of the year; 2nd in rushing nationally, 7th in scoring. Academic All-American. Team advanced to the second round of the D-III national tournament. Active with campus interfaith and community service project and church bible school.