Heidelberg’s Brock Riggs is your 2017 Piesman Trophy winner for this hook-and-lateral touchdown against Capital, which included the 290-pound offensive lineman flipping into the end zone:
Congratulations to Heidelberg University Athletics's Brock Ri...
Congratulations to Heidelberg University Athletics's Brock Riggs, your 2017 Piesman Trophy winner!Posted by SB Nation on Friday, December 8, 2017
The Heidelberg Student Princes (amazing!) play in Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.
Let’s let Riggs describe the play:
"I was going for the dive, and then I got nervous, 'cause I thought it would look un-athletic. And I turned it into a front flip out of pure fear of looking un-athletic."— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 8, 2017
Our third #Piesman finalist: @BergFootball's Brock Riggs! pic.twitter.com/HEkWlzuSwG
And here was the scene back in Ohio when he won:
Who were the other finalists?
St. Francis’ Louie Gartner...
and Wyoming’s Carl Granderson.
They emerged from a ballot of 21 contenders for those spots.
What is the Piesman Trophy?
The short answer: An award we made up because we wanted to have fun.
The long answer: An award for linemen who do un-lineman-like things. Specifically, it’s an award for offensive or defensive linemen who catch, throw, or run with the ball. Our voting panel is made up of staff members here and at other places that cover college football. We also have a fan ballot that counts toward the final tally.
What’s the trophy look like?
Who are its previous winners?
The 2015 winner was Southeastern Louisiana's Ashton Henderson. He won on the strength of this beautiful and nimble scoop-and-score fumble recovery:
The other finalists that year were Michigan State’s Jack Allen ...
... and Miami’s Ufomba Kamalu:
The 2016 winner was Pitt’s Brian O’Neill, who caught a lateral that functioned as a surprise screen pass and ran it home for a touchdown:
The other two 2016 finalists were Oklahoma State’s Vincent Taylor and Monmouth College’s Kolton Koch.
Is there a ceremony in New York, a la the Heisman?
Yes. It’s the Friday night before the Heisman ceremony. Here’s the moment when O’Neill learned in 2016 that he’d become the Piesman champion:
Who votes on the Piesman?
A panel including former pro and college linemen, media people who cover football and/or food, and a ballot assembled by our readers.
Why does this award exist?
College football should be fun. We think the Piesman is fun because big guys making plays with the ball is fun. And while the Heisman and most historic awards are reserved for players from big schools, the Piesman is a great chance to appreciate cool moments from throughout the sport.
"College football fans know that success on either side of the ball starts with the linemen, the often unsung heroes of the team,” says my colleague Ryan Nanni, godfather of the Piesman. “We're proud to give out an award that gives these guys the celebration they deserve, because we think there's nothing more exciting than a touchdown or interception or long pass from a player you weren't expecting it from.”
Finalists have included players from the FBS power conferences, the Group of 5, the FCS, and Division III. We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to appreciate some of those players’ contributions to college football being as fun as it is.