Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award
West Liberty University’s BEN STAGGS
Presented by the Manheim Touchdown Club
January 11, 2010

The Manheim Touchdown Club has announced that Ben Staggs, a senior offensive tackle from West Liberty (W. Va.) University has been named as the recipient of the sixth annual Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award.


The award is sponsored by the Manheim Touchdown Club and voted upon by the nation’s NCAA Division II sports information directors.

Staggs, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound native of Wooster, Ohio (Northwestern High School), helped lead West Liberty to a best-ever 11-2 final record, the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Super Region One playoffs and an appearance in the Super Region championship game.

He started every game at the all-important left tackle position for the top-ranked NCAA Division II offense in the nation (549.7 yards per game total offense, 48.3 points per game).

Staggs was team captain and leader of the first offensive line in college football history to clear the path for a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,500-yard rusher and three 1,000-yard receivers.

Staggs Protected the blind side of Harlon Hill Trophy runner-up Zach Amedro, who led the nation with 49 TD passes and whose 4,945 passing yards this season was the second-highest total in Division II history. He was a three-year starter and a four-year letter winner for West Liberty, and one of three first-team All-WVIAC performers on the Hilltoppers’ offensive line.

Staggs’ on-field efforts also earned him second-team Associated Press Little All-America and second-team Daktronics, Inc. All-America honors.

“Ben has been a rock on our offensive line for the last four seasons,” head coach Roger Waialae said. “He’s helped clear the way for a 1,000-yard rusher every year and has done a great job protecting our quarterback’s back as our starting left tackle for the past three seasons. Ben had his best season as a senior and that’s the way every coach wants his players to go out.”