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Monmouth College Football Star Up for National Award; Fans Can Help Vote
POSTED 5:28pm 11/30/09 A record-setting year by Monmouth College junior quarterback Alex Tanney has caught the attention of a national awards committee, which named him one of 10 finalists for Division III's highest honor, the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy.

With one year of eligibility remaining, Tanney already holds numerous MC career records, including touchdown passes (118) and passing yards (10,158). He has passed for 200 or more yards in 30 of his 33 games -- also a school record -- and he had four games this season of more than 400 yards.

The Fighting Scots were ranked as high as No. 8 this season and finished with their second consecutive 10-0 regular season, winning back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1971-72. Monmouth has also played three of its four NCAA playoff games with Tanney under center. He leads Division III quarterbacks this year with 3,856 yards, while his 350.55 passing yards and 348.73 total yards per game rank him fourth in both categories. Tanney's 164.07 pass efficiency rating places him ninth.

"The honor is really a reflection of the success of the team," said Tanney of his selection as a finalist. "We have an offensive line that gives me time to throw and great receivers that make plays after the catch. Our defense creates a lot of turnovers and gives us the ball on a short field. The combination of all those elements makes my job pretty easy."

One of four quarterbacks named as finalists, Tanney is the lone junior to make the cut. The remainder of the field is seniors.

"It's nice to be compared with the top seniors in the country," said Tanney. "It's really an honor to be recognized by the entire country and is great for our program. Making the top 10 is rewarding, knowing that all the time I have put in throwing and working out coming into the season and during the season paid off. It shows that Coach (Steve) Bell and his staff have really put Monmouth football on the map."

This marks the second time in five years the Fighting Scots have a player among the finalists. Tanney's older brother, Mitch, was a Gagliardi finalist in 2005.

"It's a pretty good statement about our program," said Bell in reference to the Scots' two finalists since 2005. "We have been fortunate to have two players represented (Alex and Mitch). Alex is a very deserving and talented individual and it's also a tremendous tribute to the team. To be recognized at that level is quite an honor."

The 2009 winner will be announced the week of Dec. 14 as part of the festivities leading up to the DIII National Championship game on Dec. 19. The winner will be chosen by a combination of the 35-member selection committee and a fan vote. Fans may log on to www.d3football.com to cast their ballot. The fan's pick will account for one ballot and fans are limited to one vote per computer. Committee members include former NFL standout Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, retired NFL official Bernie Kukar and the awards second winner, Carey Bender of Coe College.

The Gagliardi Trophy -- loosely referred to as the Division III Heisman -- recognizes DIII's outstanding football player based on academic and athletic achievements as well as community service. Sponsored by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University (Minn.), the trophy was first awarded in 1993.

(Monmouth College Athletics)
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