FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – July 7, 2023 – Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz and Saint John's defensive lineman Michael Wozniak have been named Stein-Fallon College Scholar-Athletes by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The award, which highlights outstanding academic, athletic and community service accomplishments, is presented annually to student-athletes from a Minnesota college or university. Schmitz and Wozniak will be recognized during this summer’s Minnesota Football Honors television broadcast.
“We are thrilled to honor John Michael and Michael for their outstanding accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” said Todd Fultz, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. “On top of being outstanding players on the field, they both made a profound mark on their communities. Not only that, but they achieved at the highest levels academically. We are proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to honor them during this summer’s Minnesota Football Honors television broadcast.”
Minnesota Football Honors is hosting a show later this summer to honor its high school, college and Minnesota Vikings award winners. Full broadcast details will be announced at a later date on www.minnesotafootballhonors.com.
Here are biographies for each award winner:
Center John Michael Schmitz - Minnesota
John Michael Schmitz, a second-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2023 NFL Draft, cemented himself as one of the top centers in college football. Schmitz played in 57 career games and made 35 starts for the Gophers. This season, he was named a First-Team All-American by the AP and FWAA and a Second-Team selection by the AFCA and Walter Camp. He became the first Gopher to earn First-Team All-American honors since Antoine Winfield Jr. in 2019. Schmitz is also the first Minnesota offensive lineman to earn that honor since Greg Eslinger in 2005. Additionally, the Gophers’ star center was named a finalist for the Rimington Trophy and semifinalist for the Outland Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.
Schmitz became the fifth Gopher ever to be named an Academic All-American and on-field All-American. He joins Bob Hobert (1956), Bob Stein (1968), Greg Eslinger (2004 and 2005) and Maxx Williams (2014) as the only Minnesota players to accomplish that feat. Within the community, John Michael made a major impact through the annual Turkey Drive and youth camps at the football facility.
Defensive Lineman Michael Wozniak - Saint John’s
Saint John’s defensive lineman Michael Wozniak became a force for the Johnnies. Wozniak started all 12 games at defensive end in 2022, finishing with 43 tackles (18 solo and 13.5 for a loss), nine sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. As a result of his strong play, the Saint John’s pass rusher earned AFCA All-American Second Team, D3Football.com Third Team All-American and 2022 MIAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Wozniak was also named a finalist for the 2022 Cliff Harris Award, which is presented to the nation's top small-college defensive player. In addition to those honors, Wozniak earned recognition as a 2022 Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist.
Off the field, Wozniak shined in the classroom and community. The Saint John’s defensive lineman was named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is presented to the college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. Wozniak, a two-time Academic All-American and three-time Academic All-MIAC selection, was also chosen as a member of the 2022 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and the 2022 National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Class.
Within the community, Wozniak spent five seasons volunteering for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a member of the Saint John’s football team. He helped the team raise nearly $42,000 for St. Jude’s in 2021. Wozniak was also a member of SJU’s SAAC group. As part of that organization, he assisted with Special Olympics events and organized fundraising efforts for Kids Fighting Hunger. Michael also volunteered for SJU Football’s Tackle Cancer initiative, which raised over $23,000 in the fall of 2021.
Minnesota Football Honors is hosting a show later this summer to honor its high school, college and Minnesota Vikings award winners. Full broadcast details will be announced at a later date on www.minnesotafootballhonors.com
About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote amateur football’s ability to develop leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The Minnesota Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit www.nffmn.org, or Facebook (@MNFootballHonors) and Twitter (@NFFMN).
Todd Fultz, President - Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation
Daniel House, Director of Media Relations and Content
Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation
Tag(s): 2017 Event