One of the nation’s most dynamic offensive players this season is capping off their college career with a national award.
Off the Block announced Thursday that a nationwide voting committee selected Pepperdine opposite Jaylen Jasper as the recipient of the 2023 Dain Blanton Diversity Award.
The Dain Blanton Diversity Award, which is named after the former Pepperdine All-American and U.S. Olympian, recognizes the top NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season of a minority ethnicity.
This is the only national award in college men’s volleyball created specifically to celebrate the outstanding individual performances of minority players. Players of all backgrounds have significantly contributed throughout the history of college men’s volleyball helping teams win NCAA championships and earning numerous All-American honors.
Jasper led the MPSF and was second in the nation with a 4.99 kills per game average and finished with a career-high .364 attack percentage. The MPSF Player of the Year had at least 20 kills in 11 matches, including tying a single-match school record during the rally scoring era37 kills in a road match against BYU.
The voting committee for the Dain Blanton Diversity Award was comprised of more than 30 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation. The top-three vote-getters were named finalists for this national award.
Jasper, who was the runner-up for the Dain Blanton Diversity Award last year, garnered 54 votes this season to win the award. UCLA middle attacker Merrick McHenry finished in second place with 46 votes, while Ohio State outside attacker Jacob Pastuer received 18 votes.
This is the fifth year that Off the Block has presented the Dain Blanton Diversity Award.
Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.
2023 Dain Blanton Diversity Award voting results
1. Jaylen Jasper, Pepperdine – 54 votes
2. Merrick McHenry, UCLA – 46 votes
3. Jacob Pasteur, Ohio State – 18 votes
4. Toby Ezeonu, Penn State – 12 votes
5. Ras Jesse Delancy, Benedict – 9 votes
6. Chaz Galloway, Hawai’i – 6 votes
T-7. Raje Alleyne, Quincy – 4 votes
T-7. Uriel Batista, Concordia – 4 votes
T-9. Justin Lui, Stanford – 3 votes
T-9. Victor Scherer, Central State – 3 votes
T-11. Warren Davis, King – 2 votes
T-11. Tinaishe Ndavazocheva, Ball State – 2 votes
T-11. Rico Wardlow, Grand Canyon – 2 votes
T-14. Jamal Ellis Carballo, Fairleigh Dickinson – 1 vote
T-14. Ido David, UCLA – 1 vote
T-14. Ryan Ka, UC San Diego – 1 vote
T-14. Joe Karlous, UC Irvine – 1 vote