Erdmann, Parks named semifinalists for Gagliardi Trophy

Erdmann (left) and Parks are the MIAC's 27th and 28th Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists in history.
Erdmann (left) and Parks are the MIAC's 27th and 28th Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists in history.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) football standouts are among the 12 semifinalists for the 2019 Gagliardi Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University.

Saint John's quarterback Jackson Erdmann and St. Thomas running back Josh Parks were named semifinalists for the prestigious honor on Tuesday. The semifinalists include six quarterbacks, four running backs, one defensive lineman and one wide receiver. The final 12 semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. After screening the nominations, the SJU J-Club Board of Directors narrowed the field to 12 semifinalists. The 40-member Gagliardi Trophy national selection committee reviews the credentials, ranks the candidates 1-12 and casts their votes. Fan balloting, which is available on D3football.com, accounts for the 41st ballot and is being conducted on D3football.com for the 10th consecutive year. Fans will be permitted to cast one ballot per device, through 12 p.m. CT on Dec. 9. 

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. The MIAC has had 28 semifinalists or finalists and five Gagliardi Trophy recipients in its history, including two of the last three winners in Carter Hanson (2016) and Jackson Erdmann (2018). The selection committee previously released the names of 10 finalists until 2010 when the format changed to announce semifinalists and finalists. In its message to the voting panel, the Gagliardi Trophy administration reminds voters: "The Gagliardi Trophy is a football award but incorporates the philosophy of the well-rounded student-athlete."

Jackson Erdmann | QB | Saint John's

Led SJU (9-1, 7-1 MIAC) to a share of its MIAC-record 34th conference title and 30th postseason appearance (26th in Division III) in 2019. ... Ended the regular season as the NCAA Division III leader in passing yards (3,352), was second in passing yards per game (335.2), third in total offense per game (348.8), fourth in yards per pass attempt (10.61). ... Owns MIAC and SJU record for passing touchdowns (124), as well as the school record for touchdowns responsible for (128), yards of total offense in a game (563), yards of total offense in a season (3,626) and most 300-yard passing games (11). Erdmann is second in school history in career pass attempts (1,015), career pass completions (643), career passing yards (9,951), career yards of total offense (10,364) and wins as a starting quarterback (34). ... Consensus 2018 All-American (AP, AFCA, D3football.com). ... 2018 D3football.com National Offensive Player of the Year. 2018 MIAC Most Valuable Player. ... 2-time All-MIAC first-team selection (2017-18; likely 3-time after the Nov. 21 coaches' meeting). ... Earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award, sponsored by the Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, to teach English in Malaysia starting in January 2020. ... Lone student-athlete from Division III on the NCAA working group appointed by the NCAA president and Board of Governors that examined issues highlighted in recently proposed federal and state legislation related to student-athlete name, image and likeness. ... Currently teaches and tutors advanced math students ranging from grades 5-8 at All Saints Academy in nearby St. Joseph for an hour each weekday. ... Helped the SJU football team raise money for Tackle Cancer and the "Up Till Dawn" campaign, collecting donations for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the last four seasons. ... Participated in an 18-day (Jan. 25-Feb. 11, 2018) service trip to northern Thailand, where he worked with various organizations that fight child sex trafficking. He spent a week with Courageous Love, which is an organization that rescues victims of sex trafficking or children that are a high risk of being trafficked. He spent a day with Project Justice in an impoverished, mountain village. The village's children are frequently trafficked and/or use drugs. The group ended the service trip by spending five days with The Little Farm Thailand. Tasks included building fences and a goat house, gardening and chopping wood.

Josh Parks | RB | St. Thomas

Played 41 games over four seasons at UST, helping team to 39-7 record and three solo or shared conference championships and two NCAA playoff appearances. ... 2018 D3football.com All-American. ... Set school records for touchdowns (60) and rushing yards (4,180). Broke conference record for rushing touchdowns in MIAC games (45). ... Had 22 career 100-plus yard rushing games despite being co-starter his first two seasons. ... Recorded two of the five 100-plus yard rushing games allowed by St. John's over the Johnnies' past 45 games. ... Business management major. ... Created his own fitness clothing line and company in 2017. His company, Ghostfit, makes workout gear which emphasizes comfort and style. Ghostfit was inspired by the nickname 'Ghost' that Parks' brother gave him for his speed on the gridiron. ... Volunteer and fundraiser, St. Jude's Children's Hospital (2016-2019). ... Volunteer youth football camp worker, Chisago Lakes High School.

Nominations were submitted by colleges across the country, and the semifinalists were selected by the J-Club Board of Directors. The Gagliardi Trophy national-selection committee is comprised of 16 Division III coaches (four from each NCAA region), four Division III administrators (one from each region), eight regional notable voters (two from each region), and eight national voters with Division III backgrounds. A fan vote, which runs until Dec. 9, is live on D3football.com.

Announcement of the finalists for the 27th annual Gagliardi Trophy will be made the first week in December. The recipient's university will host an award presentation at a later date and details will be handled at the time of the announcement.

ALL-TIME MIAC GAGLIARDI TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS/FINALISTS
Year Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
2019 QB Jackson Erdmann Saint John's Sr. Rosemount, Minn.
2019 RB Josh Parks St. Thomas Sr. Chisago City, Minn. | Chisago Lakes
2018 QB *Jackson Erdmann Saint John's Jr. Rosemount, Minn.
2016 LB *Carter Hanson Saint John's Sr. Blue Earth, Minn.
2015 RB Sam Sura Saint John's Sr. South St. Paul, Minn.
2015 OT David Simmet St. Thomas Sr. Stillwater | Hill-Murray
2014 RB Sam Sura Saint John's Jr. South St. Paul, Minn.
2012 C Curtis James St. Thomas Sr. Edina, Minn.
2011 WR Fritz Waldvogel St. Thomas Sr. Mendota Heights, Minn. | St. Thomas Academy
2010 RB Ben Wartman St. Thomas Sr. Prior Lake, Minn.
2008 QB Jordan Berg Augsburg Sr. Gaylord, Minn. | Sibley East
2007 QB Alex Kofoed Saint John's Sr. Cold Spring, Minn. | ROCORI
2007 WR P.J. Theisen St. Thomas Sr. Elko, Minn. | New Prague
2006 LB Kirby Carr Bethel Sr. Fergus Falls, Minn.
2005 DT Damien Dumonceaux Saint John's Sr. St. Joseph, Minn. | Saint John's Prep
2004 CB Jordan Talge Concordia Sr. Moorhead, Minn.
2003 WR *Blake Elliott Saint John's Sr. Melrose, Minn.
2003 S Sam Lacy Bethel Sr. Lewisville, Texas
2002 WR Blake Elliott Saint John's Jr. Melrose, Minn.
2002 WR Andrew Hilliard St. Thomas Sr. Woodbury, Minn.
2001 S Hans Bengston Bethel Sr. Northfield, Minn.
2000 QB Tom Linnemann Saint John's Sr. Melrose, Minn.
1998 WR *Scott Hvistendahl Augsburg Sr. Cannon Falls, Minn.
1997 QB Derrin Lamker Augsburg Sr. Golden Valley, Minn.
1996 QB Kurt Ramler Saint John's Sr. Chaska, Minn.
1995 WR *Chris Palmer Saint John's Sr. Fairfax, Minn.
1994 RB Matt Malmberg Saint John's Sr. Oakdale, Minn. | Tartan
1993 QB Willie Seiler Saint John's Sr. Avon, Minn. | Albany

*Gagliardi Trophy winner

| 2019 Gagliardi Trophy Semifinalists |