Quarterback Joe Callahan from Wesley, Guilford quarterback Matt Pawlowski, tackle David Simmet from St. Thomas and St. John’s running back Sam Sura have been named finalists for the 2015 Gagliardi Trophy, given to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's (Minn.).

The 23rd annual Gagliardi Trophy will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Salem, Va., at a banquet kicking off the Division III championship weekend, which culminates in the Stagg Bowl on Friday, Dec. 18. The four finalists, all of them seniors, will be on hand for the announcement of the winner and presentation of the trophy at the banquet, which will be video webcast live on D3football.com.

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 after the 2012 season with 489 career victories, the most in college football history. 

These four are the top finishers in a nomination and voting process that includes a national committee of 40 voters and a fan vote, which was conducted by D3football.com. Fans cast 9,379 votes, which served as the 41st ballot, cast with Gettysburg linebacker Kodie McNamara in the first-place spot. Voters rank all 10 semifinalists from top to bottom.

The other Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists: Mount Union safety Alex Kocheff, McNamara, Hardin-Simmons receiver Jessie Ramos, Wartburg quarterback Logan Schrader, Wheaton tackle Matt Snebold and Hendrix running back Dayton Winn.

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Simmet and the Tommies host Linfield in the national semifinals Dec. 12. A 2015 D3football.com All-West Region first team selection and two-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America first-team honoree, Simmet is the starting right tackle within an offense that led Division III in scoring (56.4 points per game) and finished third in total offense (564.8 yards per game) during the regular season.

Pawlowski, the D3football.com 2015 South Region Offensive Player of the Year, finished second in Division III in passing touchdowns (39), was fifth in passing yards (3,333) and sixth in both passing efficiency (180.5) and points responsible for per game (23.8).

A 2014 Gagliardi Trophy finalist, the 2015 D3football.com East Region Offensive Player of the Year and a 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team honoree, Callahan directed the Wolverines to the NCAA quarterfinals and ended the regular season as the Division III leader in five statistical categories: passing efficiency (196.0), passing touchdowns (43), passing yards (3,809), points responsible for per game (29.6) and total offense (410.6 yards per game).

Sura, a D3football.com All-American in 2014 and 2015 second team D3football.com All-West Region selection, led the Johnnies to the second round of the NCAA playoffs for the second consecutive season and ended the regular season fourth in Division III in both rushing touchdowns (23) and average yards per carry (5.83), among backs with 250 carries or more. 

More broadcast information will be posted the week of the ceremony.