Shea Dwyer, Wesleyan University
Shea Dwyer was one of the most decorated Wesleyan football players in school history. Most significant, he became just the second Wesleyan gridder to be named a finalist (top-10) for the Gagliardi Trophy, Division III's version of the Heisman. After three seasons as a solid runner for the Cardinals in a pass-oriented offense, Dwyer entered the 2010 campaign as a graduate student, having earned his undergraduate degree four months earlier. He had led the squad in rushing in both 2007 and 2009 after missing the 2008 season following an injury in the opening game. Still, his three-year figures stood at 692 yards rushing on 194 attempts (an average of 3.6 yards) with seven TDs along with 52 receptions for 382 yards and a TD.
To say 2010 became a season to remember is nothing short of an understatement. Rushing for over 100 yards (119) for the first time in a game during his Wesleyan career in an opening-day loss at Middlebury, Dwyer then rushed for a Wesleyan-record 213 yards in carrying the Cardinals to victory over Hamilton in the second game of the season. The old single-game record was 190 yards. He received the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Award as the top weekly Division III performer in New England as well as NESCAC and ECAC weekly honors for his effort vs. Hamilton. The next week, he broke his own single-game rushing record with 255 yards during a win at Colby. Dwyer finished the year with 1,242 rushing yards on 218 carries, far exceeding the previous Wesleyan single-season mark of 871 yards. He scored 11 TDs on the ground and 12 in total as he also caught 20 passes for 150 yards and a TD. He led the NESCAC in rushing and was fourth among Division III ball-carriers with his 155.25 yard-per-game average.
As for post-season honors, Dwyer was chosen first-team all-NESCAC, third-team D3football.com All-America, first-team all-East by D3football.com, a New England Football Writers Association Div. II/III all-star and all-ECAC North to go along with his Gagliardi Trophy finalist status. He also was chosen for the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society which recognizes significant contributors in their final season of eligibility with a cumulative GPA in excess of 3.2.
Receiving a Cardinal Scholarship from Wesleyan as a freshman in recognition of being a scholar-athlete with tremendous academic promise, Dwyer made his athletic presence known during the winter by hauling sticks for the men's ice hockey team as a four-year team manager.