LANCASTER COUNTY, PA – For the second year in a row, Grand Valley State nose tackle Mike McFadden has been named the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year.
The award is sponsored by the Manheim Touchdown Club.
McFadden, a 6-1, 255-pound senior who recently led Grand Valley State to the Division II national championship, was listed on 83 percent of the ballots, and he received 46 percent of the final votes by the 150 sports information directors from football-playing NCAA Division II colleges.
“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play with so many quality football players at Grand Valley State, and this is just as much of a team award as an individual award,” McFadden said in a release.
“I was just 1/11th of our defense, and that’s how we approached every down.”
McFadden had 29 solo tackles and 61 total tackles this season, including 13 1/2 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
He was also named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year for the second year in a row.
McFadden had at least one tackle for loss in 30 of his last 39 games, and at least one quarterback sack in 23 of his last 30 games.
The Saginaw, Mich., native is the NCAA Division II all-time leader with 34 1/2 sacks, and he’s fourth all-time with 55 1/2 tackles for loss.
Earlier this season, McFadden tied an NCAA all-division record for registering a sack in 17 games in a row.
“It comes as no surprise that Mike continues to receive accolades for his play on the football field,” Upshaw, the former Oakland Raiders star and NFL Players Association executive director said in a release.
“He continues to dominate against opposing quarterbacks as evidenced by his 23 sacks in the last 30 games.”
Indiana (Pa.) senior offensive tackle Jason Capizzi and Chadron State junior offensive guard Robbie Klinetobe finished in a tie for second in the balloting.
Other finalists included Northwest Missouri State defensive end Ryan Waters, South Dakota center Chris Morton, California (Pa.) center Robert Duncan and Newbery offensive tackle Heath Benedict.
“It’s truly an honor to be named the Gene Upshaw Award winner for a second time,” McFadden said. “I am humbled with this honor.”
This season, McFadden was also named First-Team All-American by the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association, Don Hansen’s Football Gazette, D2football.com and Daktronics.
He was also named the Football Gazette’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.
“Mike is an excellent football player, but more than that, he’s an even better person,” Grand Valley State coach Chuck Martin said in a release.
“We are excited to see Mike get his just due for his accomplishments both on and off the football field.”
McFadden will be honored at the Manheim Touchdown Club’s annual banquet next spring.
by Jeffery Reinhart
Lancaster New Era