Two veteran anchors on the Crusader defense were both recognized nationally Wednesday morning.
Senior linebacker Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) was elected to the 4th annual FCS Senior Scout Bowl in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on December 21st. The committee recognizes the top 4 players in each position every year. Several players who have participated in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl have gone on to play in the NFL including Sean Jeffcoat of the Arizona Cardinals, Jamie Childress of the New York Giants, and Jordan Campbell of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Derbak is second on the Crusaders in tackles with 29. His three tackles for a loss are a team-high.
"Pat has been a starter for us since midway through his freshman year. He has always been in the top five in tackles. He is a smart player and very deserving of this opportunity," head coach Dale Carlson said.
"I'm very honored to be recognized for my abilities these past four years and grateful for the invitation to compete against some of the best talent in the FCS," Derbak said on the news.
While Derbak was awarded for his play on the field, fellow teammate Alex Grask (Naperville, Ill./Central) is garnering attention for his excellence in the classroom and the community.
The senior was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy. The NFF is chaired by former Pro Bowl quarterback Archie Manning. Candidates for the award must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, carry at least a 3.2 GPA, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Past recipients include Peyton Manning, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Tim Tebow.
"This is a tremendous honor for Alex Grask. He is included with some of the top student-athletes in all divisions of football. It also is a reflection of the quality of student-athlete we have in the football program at Valpo," Carlson said.
The NFF Awards Committee will narrow the field of 170 down to sixteen on Thursday, October 31st. Each of the sixteen will then receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship in addition to an invitation to the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on December 10th.