New York, NY – December 2018: Tanner Volson of North Dakota State University headlines the 2018 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 16th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.
Volson, a senior from Balfour, N.D. is a two-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree, earning first team honors this season. Additionally, Volson excelled in the classroom being named to the MVFC Academic Honor Roll in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Volson has been a two year starter for North Dakota State University and has been a part of winning three FCS National Championships. This season the Bison offense has averaged 274.4 yards rushing per game while scoring 42.1 points per game to rank sixth in the FCS. Volson is the third Bison to ever receive the Rimington Award following Joe Lund (2012) and Rob Hunt (2004).
Bryce Bray of Harding University (Ark.) is the DII division winner of the Rimington Award. Bray, a senior from Rogers, Ark., was named first team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), first team All-Conference by the Great American Conference and was a three time All-Region by the DII Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA). In his career, Bray contributed to the most successful four year run in school history as Harding won 40 of the school record 50 games he started in over that time. Harding ranked second in DII with 341.1 rushing yards per game while averaging 35 points per game. He is the first of the Bisons ever to receive the Rimington Award.
Nate Trewyn of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is the winner of the NCAA DIII Rimington Award. Trewyn, a senior from Janesville, Wis., was a second team AFCA All-American, first team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) selection, Street & Smith Preseason All-American and D3Football.com first team All-West Region selection. The three-year starting center was also selected as a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation’s prestigious Campbell Trophy. The Warhawks averaged 246.9 yards rushing per game and 41.6 points per game. The Rimington Award for Trewyn marks the second time a center from Wisconsin-Whitewater has won the award joining Brent Allen from 2007.
Garrett Bader of Benedictine College (Kan.) is the recipient of the Rimington Award for the NAIA Division. Bader, a senior from Aurora, MO., anchors an offensive line that will be playing in their first ever NAIA National Championship game in school history. This year the Ravens have averaged 247.7 rushing yards per game while averaging 45.1 points per game. Bader was a two-time American Football Coaches Association All-American and has been named All Heart of America Athletic Conference three years in a row. The Rimington Award for Bader is the third time a Benedictine Raven center has won the award joining Truman Ashby (2007) and David Stochlin (2014).
The award winners are selected by Jason Dannelly, coordinator of the Rimington Award and longtime writer of college football in non-FBS divisions as part of the continued tradition of one of College Football’s most prestigious awards. Dannelly was the founder of the Victory Sports Network and has been a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) for over 20 years.
About the Rimington Trophy
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football. Since its inception, the eighteen-year old award has raised over $3.6 million for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only two-time winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman. For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit http://www.rimingtontrophy.com
About the Boomer Esiason Foundation
In 1993, Gunnar Esiason – son of former NFL MVP quarterback Boomer Esiason – was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, and reproductive system of about 30,000 Americans by causing a thick build-up of mucus that leads to blockage, inflammation, and infection.
Boomer and his wife Cheryl founded the Boomer Esiason Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the cystic fibrosis community. The Foundation has raised over $138 million over the past 25 years. Today, BEF has 10 scholarships, transplant grants, and other educational programs in an effort to assist CF patients and families in their daily lives. There have also been over 800 athletes who have competed in marathons, half marathons, and more to raise money and awareness for Team Boomer – the athletic division of the Foundation.