COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Wesley College senior offensive tackle Matt Gono was named one of the 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, an award presented by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University each year to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division III.
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.
As part of the voting for the Gagliardi Trophy, an online fan poll that will allow the public to vote for their choice for the Gagliardi Trophy. The fan poll is run through D3football.com. Fans can vote HERE (http://www.d3football.com/notables/2017/11/gagliardi-voting) on one ballot per device between now and Monday, Dec. 4.
A D3football.com All-America honoree, Gono is a three-time All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) First Team and a two-time D3football.com All-East Region First Team member. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Gono earned consensus Preseason All-American honors after being named a Preseason All-American by Lindy's, Street & Smith (Sporting News), D3football.com and College Football America.
Gono has started every game and has been a major factor in the offense for the Wolverines since he stepped on campus for his freshman season in 2014. He helped pave the way for the best offense in the NJAC and five All-NJAC players in 2017, including running back E.J. Lee, the NJAC Offensive Player of the Year.
A Law and Justice major at Wesley, Gono serves the community as part of Wesley Football's community service initiative to encourage and build lifelong readers through an outreach program with local elementary schools. He also is a member of L.E.F.T., the Leaders Empowering for Tomorrow, a student service organization that develops and runs leadership programs for students on campus. He has also collected food for the Delaware Food Bank, volunteered at the North Dover Elementary Field Day and volunteered at the Delaware Big Man Camp.
One of the best offensive linemen in the country, regardless of division, scouts from all 32 NFL teams have been to Wesley's campus to see Gono play.
The 2017 Gagliardi Trophy will be awarded on Wednesday, Dec. 13 as part of the kickoff ceremony for the 2017 Stagg Bowl. The four finalists will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 5.