MANHEIM, Pa. (November 19, 2015) – Regional voting narrowed a field of 47 candidates to eight finalists for the 2015 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award and in the process recognized Colorado State University-Pueblo football's Morgan Fox (Sr., DL, Fountain, Colo.).
The finalists, announced Thursday by the Manheim Touchdown Club, include a record six defensive linemen and two repeat finalists from 2014. Six of the eight finalists play for teams ranked in the nation's top 12 and all six of those teams reached the NCAA Division II Tournament, which begins on Nov. 21.
Fox was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week, as well as earning All-RMAC First Team recognition.
The senior leads the nation in sacks per game with 1.67. In nine games he has totaled 15.0 sacks (-114 yards is second nationally) to rank second in total sacks (14 solo sacks is second). He sits tied for eighth nationally with 2.0 tackles for loss per game and has totaled 18 tackles for loss resulting in -120 yards (third nationally). Fox is one sack shy of establishing the new program single-season and career record.
During the regular season, the senior was named RMAC Defensive Player of the Week twice and NFFCC Player of the Week once.
Fox is chasing former teammate Darius Allen, who is the reining back-to-back Gene Upshaw Award winner, for the single-season and career sacks record. Fox needs just one sack to surpass Allen's single-season record (15.5) and career record (34). Fox is a three-time All-RMAC award winner (first team in 2014, second team in 2013) and an all-region performer last season.
The award is sponsored by the Manheim Touchdown Club and voted upon by the nation's NCAA Division II sports information directors. Two finalists advance from each of the four NCAA Division II super regions.
The ThunderWolves are prepared to appear in their fifth straight NCAA Playoffs Saturday when it hosts University of Indianapolis at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Game time in the first round of the playoffs is set for noon.
Single-game tickets are still on sale at the Massari Arena Box Office from 8:30 a.m. to until 12 p.m. Friday. Tickets can be purchased at the ThunderBowl Ticket Office from 12-5 p.m. Friday or two hours before game time. Tickets are $12 and can also be purchased online at gothunderwolves.com.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.