GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College quarterback Matt Pawlowski and wide receiver Adam Smith have been selected to play in the Fourth Annual National Bowl football game. The National Bowl will be played Sunday, December 6 at Ocean Bank Stadium, on the campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The game showcases senior All-American and all-conference selections from around the nation representing Division II, III, and FCS schools. Guilford's Satiir Stevenson played in the 2014 National Bowl.
Pawlowski won his second straight J. Stokely Fulton Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Offensive Football Player of the Year Award this fall, becoming the first offensive player to win the league's top honor in successive seasons. He was selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy for the second straight season, presented annually to NCAA Division III football's top student-athlete. The 6-2, 205-pound quarterback completed a school-record 39 touchdown passes, which ranks third in NCAA Division III through games of November 28 and is the second-highest total in ODAC history. He connected on 227-of-350 passes (64.9%) for 3,333 yards with just two interceptions. Pawlowski stands fifth in Division III in passing yards, passing yards per game (333.3), and sixth in total offense per game (344.1).
A three-time ODAC Offensive Player of the Week this year (and 11 times in his career), Pawlowski had six 300-yard passing games and threw for at least four scores seven times. His best performance came in a school- and league-record 611-yard, seven-touchdown passing effort October 31 at Catholic University of America, earning his second player of the week award of 2015, plus D3football.com / Scoutware Team of the Week honors. His 648 total offensive yards and 611 yards in the game both stand second nationally among all NCAA quarterbacks in 2015. The four-year starter completed 872-of-1,369 career passes for a school-record 63.7 completion percentage, 11,625 yards and 116 scores with 16 interceptions. In his final two years, Pawlowski threw for 6,809 yards with 74 touchdowns and only five interceptions. The Quakers won 17 of 20 games in that stretch. Through games of November 14, Pawlowski ranked eighth in Division III history with 116 career touchdown passes. He stood 10th among the national career leaders in total offense (12,456) and passing yards (11,625).
Smith collected his third straight First Team All-ODAC award this fall and joins just four other Quakers so honored in school history. The 5-10, 175-pound senior receiver set numerous league and school records in the finest of his four seasons. He ranked second in the league with 89 receptions for 1,262 yards and 18 touchdowns, both conference highs. His 18 touchdown catches set a Guilford record and rank second in ODAC history. He also sits second among Division III touchdown reception leaders through games of November 21. Smith posted the second-highest receiving yards total in Guilford history with a figure that stands ninth nationally. He ranks sixth in Division III in receiving yards (126.2) and seventh in receptions (8.9) per game. The team captain stands 18th nationally with a league-best 11.0 points per game average.
Smith captured two ODAC Offensive Player of the Week Awards this year and garnered his fourth career spot on the D3football.com / Scoutware Team of the Week. He landed both honors after catching 10 passes for a school-record 253 yards (fifth in league history) and a career-best three touchdowns in the Quakers' win over Shenandoah. Smith was also named ODAC Offensive Player of the Week after making 11 grabs for 195 yards and three scores in Guilford's Homecoming triumph over Averett University. Smith had four games with 10 or more catches, seven with 100 or more receiving yards and six with at least two touchdowns. He leaves with Guilford's career records for receiving yards (3,988) and touchdowns (46), overall touchdowns (46), games with at least 100 receiving yards (19) and scoring (280). He ranks 14th among NCAA Division III's career leaders in touchdowns and 22nd in receiving yards.
Pawlowski and Smith will play on opposite sides in the National Bowl, with Pawlowski playing for the Blue Team and Smith suiting up for the White squad. Pawlowski's team is coached by Kevin O'Hanlon, most recently the head coach of the Trenton Freedom of the Professional Indoor Football League. Brian Ferguson, assistant head coach of the Arena Football League's Jacksonville Sharks, with serve as head coach for Smith's White squad.
The National Bowl provides a post-season option for non-Football Bowl Subdivision players to play before a handful of National Football league (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) scouts. Players from over 30 states will participate in this year's event. The bowl weekend consists of team practices held December 4-5, individual meetings between players and scouts on the 5th, and the all-star game itself Sunday, December 6th at 10 A.M.