2018 Gene Upshaw Award

Division II Lineman of the Year

The Gene Upshaw Award is awarded to the best lineman, offensive or defensive, in NCAA Division II college football. The award is presented by the Manheim Touchdown Club and is recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Upshaw was inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Upshaw played in 10 AFL or AFC championship games and started at left guard in three Super Bowls.




There are few D II players more decorated than Angelo State’s Markus Jones. Jones was named a Harlon Hill finalist; an A.P. All-American; an AFCA All-American; a Div II Conference Commissiner’s Association All-American; the D2CAA Defensive Player of the Year; a Small School All-American by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football; and the Winner of the 2018 Gene Upshaw Div II Lineman of the Year Award.

Jones was the national leader across all divisions in tackles for loss this season, recording an astounding 36.5 on the year. The Fort Worth native also had 17.5 sacks, which was top five in Division II. Jones set both the record for career sacks as well as the single-season sack record this year.

He recorded 77 total tackles on the season, 13 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered one. Jones also made an impact on special teams where he blocked a pair of kicks this season. 


The 2018 Gene Upshaw Award finalists included:

  • West Chester – OL Tyler Drob
  • Notre Dame College – OL Austin Treneff
  • Florida Tech – DL Adonis Davis
  • Valdosta State – OL Jeremy King
  • So Arkansas – DE DaVondrick Lison
  • Ashland – DE James Prater, Jr
  • Angelo State – DE Markus Jones
  • Sioux Falls – OT Trey Pipkins

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