FLORENCE - Ala. — A total of 42 student-athletes from across the nation have been nominated for the 2016 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year.
The list of candidates was announced Monday morning by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.
The list includes players from each of the four Division II Super Regions.
Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 171 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 42 initial candidates will be placed on regional ballots and the top two players from each of the four NCAA regions will advance to the national ballot when regional voting concludes on November 28.
There are seven nominees from Super Region 1, 10 from Super Region 2, 14 from Super Region 3 and 11 from Super Region 4.
The winner of the 2016 award will be announced on Friday, December 16 via a webcast and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 6, 2017.
The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Herff Jones and the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.
Candidates are initially nominated by the sports information directors at their respective schools and are then voted on by the SIDs in those Super Regions. The winner is then determined in a nation-wide vote of the Division II sports information directors.
The group of 42 candidates includes 20 quarterbacks, eight running backs, five receivers, three defensive linemen, two linebackers, one offensive lineman, one defensive back, one tight end and one kicker.
There are 23 seniors nominated and 19 underclassmen.
North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim won the initial Hill Trophy in 1986, followed by three-time winner - Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) running back Johnny Bailey - in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State receiver Ronnie West in 1991, Pittsburg State running back Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger Graham in 1993, Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994.
North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon became the first and so far only defensive player to win the award in 1995, followed by Truman State running back Jarrett Anderson in 1996, Bloomsburg University running back Irvin Sigler in 1997, Emporia State running back Brian Shay in 1998 and Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999.
The award had its second two-time winner when Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner claimed the Hill Trophy in 2000 and 2001.
Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes won the Hill Trophy in 2002, followed by North Alabama quarterback Will Hall in 2003, Colorado School of Mines quarterback Chad Friehauf in 2004 and East Stroudsburg’s Jimmy Terwilliger in 2005. Four straight Hill Trophies were won by running backs, beginning with Chadron State’s Danny Woodhead in 2006 and 2007. Abilene Christian’s Bernard Scott won in 2008, followed by Wayne State (Mich.) running back Joique Bell in 2009.
Central Missouri quarterback Eric Czerniewski was the 2010 Hill winner, followed by Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph in 2011, Shippensburg’s Zach Zulli in 2012, Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh in 2013 and Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan in 2014 and 2015.
Harlon Hill Timeline
November 28 - Regional voting concludes
December 1 - National Finalists are announced
December 10 - National voting concludes
December 16 - 2016 Harlon Hill Trophy winner will be announced
January 6, 2017 - Harlon Hill Trophy presented at a luncheon at the University of North Alabama
2016 Harlon Hill Trophy Nominees
|Super Regional 1|
|Mike Anderson||West Virginia Wesleyan|
|Garry Brown||California (Pa.)|
|Robert Healy||East Stroudsburg|
|Lenny Williams||Indiana (Pa.)|
|Super Regional 2|
|Donta Armstrong||West Alabama|
|Matt Davis||UNC Pembroke|
|Dylan Donahue||West Georiga|
|Kaleb Nobles||West Florida|
|Chris Robinson||Delta State|
|Jacob Tucker||North Alabama|
|Brian Walker||Fort Valley State|
|Super Regional 3|
|Drew Bauer||Minnesota Duluth|
|Andrew Elffers||Azusa Pacific|
|Garrett Futgate||Central Missouri|
|Damon Gibson||Minnesota State Moorhead|
|Trey Heid||Augustana (S.D.)|
|Jordan Hein||Bemidiji State|
|Tyke Kozeal||Nebraska Kearnet|
|Max Mickey||Sioux Falls|
|Reid Miller||Northwestern Oklahoma State|
|Jack Nelson||Winona State|
|Jameson Parsons||St. Cloud State|
|Barrett Renner||Southern Arkansas|
|Kyle Zimmerman||Northwest Missouri State|
|Super Regional 4|
|Reggie Bell||Ferris State|
|Romello Brown||Wayne State (Mich.)|
|Marty Carter||Grand Valley State|
|Keelan Cole||Kentucky Wesleyan|
|T. J. Edwards||Southwest Baptist|
|Austin Ekeler||Western State|
|Brandon Jones||Texas A&M- Kingsville|
|Luis Perez||Texas A&M- Commerce|
|Grant Russell||Ohio Dominican|