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Nominees for 2023 Scholz Award Named

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Nominees for 2023 Scholz Award Named

The Rudy Scholz and MA Sorensen Awards are presented by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash.

The nominees for the 2023 Rudy Scholz Award have been announced.

Presented every year to the top men's college rugby player in the country and sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash., the Scholz Award is named after two-time gold medal-winning USA scrumhalf Rudy Scholz, who excelled at rugby at Santa Clara, was decorated in both World War I and World War II, and was a champion of rugby, playing into his 80s.

First presented in 2016, the Scholz Award has gone to:

Dylan Audsley, Saint Mary's
Bryce Campbell, Indiana
Connor McNerney, Navy
Harley Wheeler, Life
Payton Telea-Ilalio, Saint Mary's
Emmanuel Albert, Lindenwood
Larry Williams, Army

This year, 15 players have received nominations, with that list pared down to a finalist group of four or five in April and the winner announced in May. The player receiving the award will actually get the award at a gala event at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle, Wash. June 10.  

Here are the nominees in alphabetical order:

Orrin Bizer, Life University

Developed by the Woodlands youth program, Bizer has emerged as the key ground-gainer at No. 8 for Life. The players teams game plan around, Bizer is an excellent defender, works the lineout, and helps drive the offense for the Running Eagles. (DocHawk Photo)

Ollie Corbett, Brown University

A lock for Brown and their captain, Corbett led the set piece and was a huge part of the defense—the two aspects of play that were key to Brown's run to the NCR D1 championship. Corbett is a leader and a consistently excellent player.

EJ Freeman, Arizona

An American-qualified player who learned his rugby in Germany and England, Freeman joined Arizona as a flanker but has blossomed this year after a switch to center. His loose forward skills have translated well on defense as he has also become a central figure in Arizona's attack. (University of Arizona Rugby photo)

Lewis Gray, Navy

Playing center and being the main goalkicker for the top-ranked team in the nation, Gray is a superb attacking player, multi-skilled, and a leader. (David Hughes Photo)

Taysan Hammer, BYU

A power-running center and the Cougars' goalkicker, the Herriman HS product is also the captain of the BYU team. He is brilliant on defense, attack, and in the tactical game. (BYU Rugby photo)

Nic Hardrict II, Lindenwood

A brilliant wing who has a penchant for scoring clutch tries, Hardrict blows open games repeatedly. A product of Penn HS in Indiana, Hardrict is a serious USA prospect, as well. (Todd Lunow Photo)


Ben Haugh, Navy

The USNA No. 8 is a brilliant leader and powerful offensive threat for a Navy team enjoying an excellent season. (Navy Athletics photo)

Isaiah Kruse, Fresno State

It is extremely difficult to garner a nomination in DIAA rugby because the weekly intense competition in DIA is just a sterner test for players. But every now and then there's a player who is noticed by opposition and scouts alike as capable of dominating a game. Kruse is the battery in the Fresno State flashlight. A brilliant and elusive flyhalf with all the skills, he routinely tops 20 points for his team with his try-scoring and goalkicking. (RMPhoto72)

Joe Marchant, Saint Mary's

The tighthead prop and captain of Saint Mary's, Marchant enjoys his second straight nomination. Powerful in the scrum and dangerous in the open field, Marchant remains the foundation of the Gaels team. (David Barpal photo)

Sean Moran, University Notre Dame

Moran has been a try-scoring threat throughout the season for Notre Dame, leading the Irish as a captain and their best player, despite having to play with a broken hand much of the fall. (UND Rugby photo)

Tiaan Mosconi, Army West Point

The Army scrumhalf run their attack, plays superb defense, and has one of the best box kicks in the game as he has sparked Army to another strong season despite injuries to some key players. (David Hughes photo)

Alex Null, Davenport

A huge work rate, plenty of physicality, and a nose for the ball makes Null one of the most effective flankers in the college game. Add to that his power with ball in hand and he is a major reason Davenport is enjoying one of its best season. (Davenport Athletics photo)

Wyatt Parry, BYU

The master director of BYU's attack, Parry is always a threat to run and expose defenses, but just as quickly and easily sets up his teammates for tries. (David Barpal photo)

Max Schumacher, Cal

The leading points-scorer for Cal, Schumacher patrols the deep at fullback making key defensive stops, slotting in as a strike runner, and unleashing an excellent kicking game from the hand and the kicking tee. (David Barpal photo)

Peyton Wall, Indiana

The MVP of the Big 10, Wall is a constant try-scoring threat at center or wing, an effective goalkicker, an on-field leader, and a central figure to an accomplished IU backline. (Andy Marsh photo)