Final four for Gagliardi Trophy announced

Michael Bates threw for more than 10,000 career yards and has a 3.88 GPA as a biology major.
Illinois College photo by Darren Iozia
Kevin Burke has a chance to make history by winning the Gagliardi Trophy for a second time.
Photo by Dan Poel,
Joe Callahan has led Wesley back to the national semifinals.
Photo by Dan Harris,
Dylan Jones rolled up some big numbers in leading Division III in rushing yards per game. photo

Three quarterbacks and a running back will take the stage in Salem, Va., a week from Wednesday night as the finalists for the 2014 Gagliardi Trophy and one of them will take home the massive trophy, recognizing excellence in athletics, academics and community service in Division III football.

Senior quarterback Michael Bates from Illinois College, senior quarterback and 2013 Gagliardi Trophy recipient Kevin Burke from Mount Union, junior quarterback Joe Callahan from Wesley and senior running back Dylan Jones from Willamette have been named finalists for the award, given to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University (Minn.). 

The 22nd annual Gagliardi Trophy will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 17, in Salem, Va., at a banquet kicking off the Division III championship weekend, which culminates in the Stagg Bowl on Friday, Dec. 19. The four finalists will be on hand for the announcement of the winner and presentation of the trophy at the banquet. The ceremony and announcement of the winner will be broadcast live by

Burke and Callahan face each other in the Division III semifinals Dec. 13 at Mount Union. The 2014 Capital One Academic All-American of the year, Bates ended the regular season as the active Division III leader in career passing yardage and led the nation in points responsible for (244). Jones led Division III in rushing yards per game (177.7) and finished second in total rushing yards (1,599).

The finalists: 

  • Michael Bates, QB, Illinois College
    6-0, 195 | Senior | Biology
    Auburn, Ill./Auburn H.S.

Ended regular season as the active NCAA Division III leader in career passing yardage ... led nation in points responsible for (244), and his 32 touchdown passes were tied for fourth ... served as vice president and secretary for the organization Brothers and Sisters in Christ ... also raised money for Pregnancy Resource Center in Jacksonville, Ill.

  • Kevin Burke, QB, Mount Union
    5-10, 190 | Senior | Business administration
    Westlake, Ohio/St. Edward H.S.

Directed an offense that led Division III in yards per game (619.2) and points scored (577) ... is 38-1 as a starting quarterback at Mount Union ... 2013 Gagliardi Trophy recipient ... led Mount Union to 2012 national title and 2013 runner-up finish ... volunteers with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Mount Union’s Relay for Life.

  • Joe Callahan, QB, Wesley
    6-1, 215 | Junior | Exercise science
    Absecon, N.J./Holy Spirit H.S.

Finished third in Division III with 34 touchdown passes ... fifth in both passing efficiency (181.1) and points responsible for (228) ... recorded seven games of 300 passing yards or more ... active volunteer at the annual Wesley SAAC Food Drive for the Food Bank of Delaware ... is also a math tutor and participated in Read Across America.

  • Dylan Jones, RB, Willamette
    6-0, 206 | Senior | Environmental science
    Santa Maria, Calif./Ernest Righetti H.S.

Led Division III in rushing yards per game (177.7) and finished second in total rushing yards (1,599) ... set school records for single-season rushing yards (1,599), single-game rushing yards (350) and longest rush (98 yards) ... volunteered with United Way and the local food-sharing program in Salem, Ore. 

Candidates are nominated by their college president. Nominations were submitted by 16 colleges across the country. The candidates included 10 quarterbacks, three running backs, two offensive linemen and one cornerback. The semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. 

College football fans also voted online on and their tally totaling 12,683 votes represented the 41st committee member. Junior quarterback Logan Schrader from Wartburg received the highest number of online fan votes with 2,047.

Six other standout student-athletes were considered for the 2014 Gagliardi Trophy:   

  • Brady Grayvold, CB, UW-Whitewater
    5-11, 200 | Senior | Secondary education and History (double-major)
    Norway, Mich./Norway H.S.

Tied for the conference lead with six interceptions and had 12 in his last 15 games through Nov. 15 ... ranked 19th nationally in interceptions per game ... Whitewater finished second in Division III in scoring defense (8.6 ppg.) and sixth in rushing defense (77.0 ypg.) ... volunteered as a football-camp coach and with the campus’ pep rally for freshmen.

  • Domonique Hayden, RB, Thomas More
    5-8, 212 | Senior | Communications
    Lexington, Ky./Christian Academy

Led Division III in rushing touchdowns (25), finished second in scoring (16.7 ppg.) and third in rushing yards per game (158.4)...set school records for career rushing yards (5,461) and single-game rushing yards (336) ... volunteers with Thomas More’s mentor program and is a member of the school’s leadership council ... also volunteered with Northern Kentucky Special Olympics, raised money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and participated in a mission trip to Costa Rica.

  • Matt Pawlowski, QB, Guilford
    6-2, 190 | Junior | Sport management
    Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford H.S.

Led Division III in passing touchdowns (38) and was second in both passing yards (3,476) and points responsible for (236) ... was sixth in passing efficiency (179.2) and seventh in completions per game (25.0 cpg.) ... set school records for passing touchdowns (38) and completion percentage (.678) in a season ... volunteers weekly during the offseason mentoring students with academic or behavioral challenges ... also served as a motivational speaker to local youth teams.

  • Logan Schrader, QB, Wartburg
    5-11, 200 | Junior | Fitness management
    Kildeer, Ill./Dunlap H.S.

Finished second in Division III in passing efficiency (186.9) and third in yards per completion (16.61 ypc.) ... named the 2014 IIAC Offensive Most Valuable Player ... tied the school’s single-game record for passing touchdowns (5) twice in 2014 ... volunteered with Special Olympics ... is an active volunteer at the Bremwood Lutheran Children’s Home in Waverly, Iowa.

  • Sam Sura, RB, Saint John’s
    5-11, 200 | Junior | Accounting
    South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul H.S.

Led Division III in rushing yards (1,605) and finished second in rushing yards per game (160.5) ... ended the regular season with seven consecutive 100-yard rushing games (nine in 10 games total) ... posted three games of 200 yards rushing or more ... volunteers with Feed My Starving Children.

  • Josh Warbington, QB, East Texas Baptist
    6-1, 204 | Junior | Accounting
    Hallsville, Texas/Hallsville H.S.

Led Division III in passing yards (3,580) and passing yards per game (358.0) ... finished sixth in completions per game (25.90) and eighth in both passing touchdowns (30) and total offense (352.6 ypg.) ... had 14 touchdown passes of 30 yards or longer and five games with over 400 yards passing ... volunteered at local blood drive, as well as with Special Olympics and at the local food shelf ... active volunteer with local church by helping the elderly and teaching youth.