Millsaps' Juan Joseph Named Gagliardi Trophy Regional Finalist

Millsaps' Juan Joseph Named Gagliardi Trophy Regional Finalist

(Story taken from the Millsaps College website)

STERLING, Va. - 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 J-Club at St. John's, the Gagliardi Trophy recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

The regional winners are Augsburg's Jordan Berg in the West Region; Hartwick's Jason Boltus in the East; Millsaps' Juan Joseph in the South; and Mount Union's Greg Micheli in the 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, Dec. 16. The award will be presented on Thursday, Dec. 18, in Salem, Va., as part of the festivities leading up to Stagg Bowl XXXVI played in Salem on Saturday, Dec. 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. Micheli was the leader in the Internet balloting, which was conducted through D3football.com and concluded on Dec. 9.

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 and the coach with the most wins in college football history with a record of 461-125-11 (.781). Gagliardi set the all-time win record on Nov. 8, 2003.

Jordan Berg: 6-2, 207. He is an all-conference performer and finished the season ranked No. 2 in Division III in pass completions per game with 29.7, ranked third in total passing yards with 3,226 and threw for more than 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.

Jason Boltus: 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 third 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.

Juan Joseph: 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 Mississippi's top college football player, regardless of division. A business major, he is a member of the Black Student Association and involved with the Deuce McCallister Catch 22 Foundation.

Greg Micheli: 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.