New award named after former SJU star

 The USA Football Network Inc. has named its new Division III receiver of the year award in honor of former St. John’s standout Blake Elliott.

The award is one of 10 position player of the year awards being named in honor of former Division III stars. The awards are being created to replicate the awards promoted at the Division I level by the National College Football Awards Association.

Elliott, a Melrose graduate, was a four-year standout at St. John’s who won the Gagliardi Trophy honoring Division III’s top player after helping lead the Johnnies to a Division III national title in 2003. He finished his career second all-time in all NCAA Divisions in catches and second in Division III history in touchdown receptions.

The full list of awards is as follows: The Jim Ballard (Mount Union) Trophy — honoring the Division III quarterback of the year; The Joe Dudek (Plymouth State) Trophy — honoring the Division III running back of the year; The Blake Elliott (St. John’s) Trophy — honoring the Division III receiver of the year; The Clyde “Bulldog” Turner (Hardin-Simmons) Trophy — honoring the Division III offensive lineman of the year; The Pete Metzelaars (Wabash) Trophy — honoring the Division III end of the year; The London Fletcher (John Carroll) Trophy — honoring the Division III linebacker of the year; The Rocky Myers (Wesley) Trophy — honoring the Division III defensive back of the year; The Dave Jennings (St. Lawrence) Trophy — honoring the Division III punter of the year; The Jeff Schebler (Wisconsin-Whitewater) Trophy — honoring the Division III place kicker of the year; The Joshua Carter (Muhlenberg) Trophy — honoring the Division III return specialist of the year.

Elsewhere on the SJU football front:

 St. John’s senior running back Colin Moynihan has been named a nominee for the 2013 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Moynihan, who appeared in all 10 games for the Johnnies last season and carried the ball 29 times for 157 yards and four touchdowns, is a two-time Academic All-MIAC honoree. The management major maintains a 3.58 GPA and has tutored students at St. John’s Prep and underprivileged children at the La Cruz Community Center in St. Cloud. In high school, he volunteered at various soup kitchens and for Feed My Starving Children.

The final roster of 22 players — 11 from the Division I level and 11 from the Division I-AA, II, III and NAIA levels — will be announced in September.

The Johnnies report to Collegeville on Aug. 13 and hold their first practice of the season the following day. The team — under the direction of new head coach Gary Fasching — opens the season at Wisconsin-River Falls at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6.

Frank Rajkowski

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