Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award

Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award
Awarded for "the player who by his conduct on and off the gridiron demonstrates a high esteem for the football code and exemplifies sportsmanship to an outstanding degree."
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Country United States
Presented by Gridiron Club of Greater Boston
First awarded 1946
Currently held by Patrick Witt
Bryant Johnston
Official website

The Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award is an American college football award given annually by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston to "the player who by his conduct on and off the gridiron demonstrates a high esteem for the football code and exemplifies sportsmanship to an outstanding degree" among northeastern colleges and universities.[1] In 1982, the award was narrowed to the player deemed to be the "very best, and most academically talented, college football player in New England."[1][2] Since 1989, the award has been given annually to two players (with the exception of a single winner in 1996 and three winners in 2007), one from a Division I football program, and one from a small college.[2]

The award is the fourth oldest collegiate football award in the United States, following the Heisman, Maxwell, and George "Bulger" Lowe trophies.[2]

The award is named for the founder of the Gridiron Club, Nils V. "Swede" Nelson, a former college player at Harvard and coach. Nelson was a member of the unbeaten Harvard football team that defeated Oregon in the 1920 Rose Bowl.

University of Massachusett's Devin Brown, a Defensive Back, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Tim Grupp, an Offensive Lineman, were the 2013 winners of the award.

The inaugural winner of the trophy was quarterback Perry Moss of Illinois in 1946. Other notable winners of the award include Doak Walker (1949), Johnny Bright (1951), Floyd Little (1966), Dick Jauron (1971), Otis Armstrong (1972), Tom Waddle (1988), Jay Fiedler (1992), Matt Hasselbeck (1997), and Mark Herzlich (2009).

Past winners

Year Player Position School
2013 Devin Brown DB UMass
2013 Tim Grupp OL WPI
2012 Emmett Cleary OL Boston College
2012 Ethan Peterson OL MIT
2011 Patrick Witt QB Yale
2011 Bryant Johnson QB Bentley
2010 Anthony Castonzo OL Boston College
2010 Ryan Schmid DL Coast Guard
2009 Mark Herzlich LB Boston College
2009 Alex Rubino DL MIT
2008 Andrew Berry DB Harvard
2008 James Oleinik OL MIT
2007 Dan Guariglia OL Amherst
2007 Ryne Nutt C Central Connecticut
2007 Steve Morgan P/K Brown
2006 Ed McCarthy OL Yale
2006 Brendan Fulmer WR/P/K Williams
2005 David Diamond OL Bowdoin
2005 Nick Hartigan RB Brown
2004 Keron Henry WR Connecticut
2004 Fletcher Ladd RB Amherst
2003 Steve Fox OL Holy Cross
2003 Greg Wood WR Worcester State
2002 Kevin Noone OL Dartmouth
2002 Chuck McGraw RB Tufts
2001 John Richardson OL Boston College
2001 Bob Montgomery C UMass Lowell
2000 Eric Johnson WR Yale
2000 Tim McCarthy OL Middlebury
1999 Isaiah Kacyvenski LB Harvard
1999 Nicholas Kozy OL MIT
1998 Matt Jordan WR UMass
1998 Eric Trum OL Tufts
1997 Matt Hasselbeck QB Boston College
1997 Daniel Lord OL Tufts
1996 Joseph DeAngelis OL Trinity
1995 Tim O'Brien OL Boston College
1995 Mike Rymsha QB Bentley
1994 Andre Miksimow OL Boston University
1994 Nate Sleeper QB Williams
1993 Keith Miller RB Boston College
1993 Michael Turmelle DB Bowdoin
1992 Jay Fiedler QB Dartmouth
1992 Roderick Tranum WR MIT
1991 Paul Capriotti RB Maine
1991 Paul Oliveira OL Tufts
1990 Brad Preble DB Dartmouth
1990 Mark Katz OL Bowdoin
1989 Ben Cowan OL Boston University
1989 Rich Schachner RB Coast Guard
1988 Tom Waddle WR Boston College
1987 Gordie Lockbaum RB/DB Holy Cross
1986 Stan Kaczorowski OL UMass
1985 Guy Carbone OL Rhode Island
1984 Steve Strachan RB Boston College
1983 Matt Martin LB Holy Cross
1982 John Loughery QB Boston College
1981 Kenny Duckett WR Wake Forest
1980 Jerry Pierce LB Dartmouth
1979 Tom Bell OL BYU
1978 Rich Leach QB Michigan
1977 Roy Heffernan RB Middlebury
1976 Peter Cronan LB Boston College
1975 George Niland OL Trinity
1974 Peter Gorniewicz RB Colby
1973 James Stoeckel WR Harvard
1972 Otis Armstrong RB Purdue
1971 Richard Jauron RB Yale
1970 Renso Perdoni DL Georgia Tech
1969 Steve Smear DL Penn State
1968 Vic Gatto RB Harvard
1967 Brian Dowling QB Yale
1966 Floyd Little RB Syracuse
1965 Thomas Clarke OL Dartmouth
1964 Arthur Roberts RB Columbia
1963 Bob Cappadona RB Northeastern
1962 Pat Culpepper LB Texas
1961 Joseph Kowalski OL Rutgers
1960 Alan Rozycki RB Dartmouth
1959 George Roden QB Colby
1958 J.W. Brodnax RB LSU
1957 Thomas Salvo OL Boston University
1956 James Swink RB TCU
1955 Don Hollender TE Army
1954 Arthur Luppino RB Arizona
1953 Don King QB Clemson
1952 Joseph Mitinger QB Yale
1951 Johnny Bright RB Drake
1950 Bob Williams QB Notre Dame
1949 Doak Walker RB/DB/K SMU
1948 Gordon Long OL Arkansas
1947 Everett Dorr RB Boston University
1946 Perry Moss QB Illinois


  1. 1 2 "McGraw to Receive Gridiron Club's Swede Nelson Award". Tufts University. 2003-01-08. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  2. 1 2 3 "Bowdoin's Dave Diamond Honored by Gridiron Club of Greater Boston". New England Small College Athletic Conference. 2005-12-30. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
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