Senior football standout Eric Hedin is the male recipient of the Vern Marshall Award, honoring the Linfield student-athlete exhibiting the greatest tenacity. The award was decided by a vote of the Linfield coaching staff.
The 2011 Northwest Conference and All-West Region Defensive Player of the Year, Hedin led all divisions of the NCAA with 22 sacks over 11 games. The total not only established a new Linfield single-season standard; it was also the sixth-highest figure recorded in Division III history.
Opponents found it difficult to escape or elude Hedin, who by season’s end had amassed a team-leading 80 tackles, including 36 for a loss of yards, in addition to four pass breakups and three blocked kicks.
“Eric is the most dominant defensive player I’ve ever seen play here,” said head coach Joseph Smith. “I’ve never seen a player take over games like he did.”
Hedin, a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter, was a member of two NWC title teams and competed in the NCAA postseason twice. He graduates as Linfield’s leader or co-leader in 12 different defensive categories, encompassing single-game, single-season and career marks. In all, he ranks in the top-10 for 28 defensive statistics.
In addition to his player of the year awards, Hedin was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team and was chosen as the NWC Football Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week on three separate occasions. He was also selected as the Linfield Player of the Year.
“His drive, passion and energy are what stand out,” Smith said. “He was simply relentless.”
Hedin will graduate May 29 with a bachelor’s degree in business.
The award was established in honor of Vern Marshall ’57, the former Linfield athlete and college and professional sports referee who passed away in 2002.
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