North Central College star quarterback Luke Lehnen was awarded the 2023 Gagliardi Trophy, which is handed out to the top player in Division III football. Lehnen becomes the third Cardinal to win the award, following quarterback Broc Rutter in 2019 and running back Ethan Greenfield in 2022.
The most efficient passer in the NCAA
So far this season, the NCC signal caller has completed 162 of 215 passes (75.3 percent) for 3,228 yards and 46 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The junior has also rushed for 735 yards (7.4 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns while leading the Cardinals to a 14-0 record.
Lehnen’s pass-efficiency rating of 270.2 is the highest among any quarterback in college football and is on pace to break the Division III and all-divisions single-season record of 230.4, set by Mount Union quarterback D’Angelo Fulford in 2019. Coincidentally, Fulford’s career ended at the hands of North Central when the Cardinals stunned Mount Union in the second round of the 2019 playoffs. In addition to his Gagliardi Trophy, Lehnen is also on pace to establish new Division III single-season records for yards per completed pass (20.0), yards per pass attempt (15.3) and percentage of passes completed for touchdowns (21.9).
Lehnen is back in the Stagg Bowl
Following a 34-27 victory over Wartburg in the semifinals, Lehnen and his teammates are back in the Stagg Bowl for a fourth consecutive season. As a freshmen, Lehnen led the team to a runner up finish in 2021, before winning the Division III National Championship in 2022. The Cardinals won their first Stagg Bowl in 2019.
One of the best athletes to ever step foot on the campus of North Central College in Naperville, Lehnen is also a standout player on the NCC baseball team.