College Football | Mount Union's Braxton Plunk is semifinalist for Gagliardi Trophy

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Mount Union quarterback Braxton Plunk looks down field for a receiver against Otterbein during first-half action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Mount Union quarterback Braxton Plunk looks down field for a receiver against Otterbein during first-half action at Mount Union Stadium Saturday, October 2, 2021.

Mount Union junior quarterback Braxton Plunk has been named a semifinalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, given to the nation's top all-around football player in NCAA Division III.

Plunk ranks in the top 10 nationally in every quarterback statistical category, including first in completion percentage (73.4%). In 11 games so far this season, he has completed 284-of-387 passes for 3,563 yards with 36 touchdowns.

The Purple Raiders are third in the nation in passing offense, No. 4 in total offense and No. 6 in scoring.

On Monday, Plunk was named to the Ohio Athletic Conference first team and was named the Bob Packard Offensive Back of the Year in the conference.

Off the field, he has a 3.37 cumulative grade point average as a Finance major and is involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has been a volunteer for the Be The Match bone marrow drive event.

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 passed away at the age of 91 in 2018. Gagliardi retired in 2012 with 489 career victories, the most in college football history.

Mount Union has had seven Gagliardi Trophy winners. Quarterback and College Football Hall of Famer Jim Ballard won the inaugural trophy in 1993. Quarterback Bill Borchert claimed the honor in 1997 while running backs Chuck Moore and Dan Pugh won the award in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Quarterback Greg Micheli took home the trophy in 2008 while quarterback and current Mount Union quarterback coach Kevin Burke, the only two-time winner of the award, was named in 2013 and 2014.

The Gagliardi Trophy finalists will be announced during a live show on Dec. 9 on D3football.com. The Gagliardi Trophy winner will be revealed on D3football.com during the week of the NCAA Division III football national championship, which is Dec. 17 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

The other Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists are Ian Blankenship, Sr., RB, United States Merchant Marine Academy (N.Y.); Jefferson Fritz, Sr., DB/P/RET, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas); Cody Gustafson, Sr., WR, Grove City (Pa.); Blake Hawkins, Sr., QB, Central (Iowa); Michael Hnatkowsky, Sr., QB, Muhlenberg (Pa.); Tucker Horn, Jr., QB, Trinity (Texas); Tyler Jarnagin, Sr, QB, Benedictine (Ill.); Kyle Jones, Sr., QB, Hardin-Simmons (Texas); Andrew Kamienski, Sr., WR, North Central (Ill.); Max Meylor, Sr., QB, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Jaron Roste, Jr., QB, Bethel (Minn.); Brees Segala, Sr., QB, Cortland St. (N.Y.); Wyatt Smith, Sr., QB, Linfield (Ore.), and Gavin Zimbelman, Sr. QB, Aurora (Ill.)

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Mount Union QB Braxton Plunk is semifinalist for "Division III Heisman"

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