When Pittsburg State’s football team takes to the field next Saturday against Concordia-St. Paul in the Mineral Water Bowl, they will be facing one of the top lineman in the nation.



Golden Bears’ junior linebacker Tyler Hendrickson finished third in the Super Region 3 balloting for the Gene Upshaw Award — awarded to the nation’s top lineman.

When Pittsburg State’s football team takes to the field next Saturday against Concordia-St. Paul in the Mineral Water Bowl, they will be facing one of the top lineman in the nation.

Golden Bears’ junior linebacker Tyler Hendrickson finished third in the Super Region 3 balloting for the Gene Upshaw Award — awarded to the nation’s top lineman.

Hendrickson, a 6-foot-8, 320-pound junior from St. Paul, Minn., was the top vote-getter from the Northern Sun Conference (NSIC).

The top vote getter from Super Region 3 was Marc Schiechl, a senior defensive tackle from Colorado School of Mines, while Cameron Bradfield, a senior tackle from Grand Valley State was the second highest honoree. Schiechl tallied 104 total points while Bradfield had 81. Hendrickson was next in line with 39 points.

Hendrickson followed up a 2009 All-NSIC South Honorable Mention sophomore season last year in his second full season as the team’s starting right tackle by having a dominant junior year at left tackle, protecting the blind side of breakout quarterback Spencer Ohm.

Hendrickson allowed just two sacks all season long while grading out at 90 percent or better in all 11 games for Concordia. He was named All-NSIC South Division First Team at the left tackle position and has been one of CU’s Offensive Lineman of the Week an impressive six times in the 2010 season.

He’s started all 33 games in his career, 22 at right tackle and the last 11 at left tackle.

In addition to Hendrickson, the Golden Bears also tout the NSIC’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year in redshirt freshman Denzell Blackmon.

Blackmon helped a defense for Concordia that ranked third in the conference in fewest passing yards allowed (167.4). Blackmon had 45 tackles as a cornerback that included 29 solo and 2 tackles for loss.

The Golden Bears improved from a 3-8 team in 2009 to an 8-3 team in 2010, earning the school’s third trip to the Mineral Water Bowl — the most MWB appearances in the Northern Sun. They’ll play Pitt State at 12 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4 in Excelsior Springs, Mo.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140