Minnesota Duluth guard Garth Heikkinen was named the 2012 recipient of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year of Award. The Upshaw Award has been presented annually since 2004 to the top NCAA Division II junior or senior lineman in the nation.

"I'm honored and humbled to be chosen for the Gene Upshaw Award", said Heikkinen, a native of Duluth and a 2008 graduate of Duluth Central High School. "I can't begin to express how thankful I am for my teammates, coaches, and everyone else who has helped me get to where I am today. This award never would have come my way without them. "

Heikkinen, who has been selected to four different All-America teams this fall -- Associated Press Little All-American (first team), American Football Coaches Association (first team), Daktronics (first team) and Beyond Sports College Network (second team), started in a Bulldogs-record 54 consecutive games over the past four seasons.