Bemidji State University senior defensive end Zollie Kaplan has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2022 Gene Upshaw Award as Division II’s Senior Lineman of the Year. Kaplan is one of nine senior offensive and defensive linemen in Division II to be considered for the award.
The award is voted on by the nation’s NCAA Division II sports information directors. Two finalists advanced from each of the four NCAA Division II super regions to a national ballot. All nominees must be seniors or graduate players/transfers.
Kaplan, a native of St. Louis Park, Minn., was an All-NSIC First Team selection this year after helping the Beavers to an NSIC North Division championship and overall co-championship in the NSIC. Kaplan is currently third in Division II with 14.5 sacks this season and is tied for seventh with 20.5 tackles for loss. Kaplan has totaled 26.0 sacks in his career and is a 0.5 sack shy from tying Jay Hanson as the program’s sack leader.
Joining Kaplan as a finalist are defensive end D.J. Adediwura of Slippery Rock and offensive tackle Joey Fisher of Shepherd from Super Region 1; offensive tackle Nicolas Melsop of Delta State and offensive guard Dalton Simpler from West Florida out of Super Region 2; offensive tackle Quinton Barrow of Grand Valley State, defensive end Elijah Green of Northwest Missouri State, and defensive end Caleb Murphy of Ferris State from Super Region 3; and center Matt Armendariz of Colorado School of Mines from Super Region 4.
The national round of voting begins on Friday Nov. 25 and closes on Friday, Dec. 2. The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 5. The award recipient has an invitation to participate in front of professional scouts and coaches at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas, Nev. The winner will also be recognized at the Manheim Touchdown Club’s annual banquet.
The NFL recognizes, endorses and supports the winner of the award by guaranteeing a place in the all-star games. The support comes as recognition and appreciation for the late Mr. Upshaw, who was not only an All-Pro lineman for the Oakland Raiders, but later served as the executive director of the NFL Players Association for 25 years. Upshaw, a former standout offensive lineman at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M Kingsville), was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 in his first year of eligibility.
Ticket information for the Bemidji State University Football team’s NCAA Division II Tournament Second Round matchup at No. 2 Angelo State University set for Saturday, Nov. 26 is now available.
Tickets can be purchased online beginning Wednesday Nov. 23 or in person at the gates on gameday with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. CT, Saturday. To purchase tickets online, please go to https://asurams.hometownticketing.com/embed/all?depts=1.
Bemidji State fans should purchase the $10 General Admission tickets that will be located on the visiting sideline. 500 tickets will be saved for Bemidji State fans.
To provide a safer environment for the public, Angelo State University has implemented new clear bag guidelines limiting the size and type of bag allowed into our venues during home athletic events. Click here for more information.
Bemidji State is set to face Angelo State for the first time in program history and will kick-off with the Rams Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CT, from LeGrand Stadium.