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Harlon Hill Award Committee | December 19, 2016

Colorado Mines QB Justin Dvorak wins Harlon Hill Trophy

  Senior Justin Dvorak has been recognized as the best Division II player.

FLORENCE, Ala. — Colorado School of Mines senior quarterback Justin Dvorak has claimed the 2016 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year.

Dvorak received 185 total points and held a commanding 72-point margin over Northwest Missouri State University senior quarterback Kyle Zimmerman at 113. University of North Alabama senior quarterback Jacob Tucker finished third at 84.

The award winner is determined in voting by the Division II sports information directors.

Dvorak was on 75 of the 95 total ballots cast.

The Hill Trophy will be presented to Dvorak on Friday, January 6 at a ceremony on the campus of the University of North Alabama, Hill's alma mater.

The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Herff Jones, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and the University of North Alabama.

Dvorak, a native of Tomball, Texas, powered Division II's top offense in 2016 as the Orediggers (10-3) averaged 566.8 yards per game, winning a share of the Rocky Mounatin Athletic Conference title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA playoffs. Mines was second in the nation in points per game (47.5) and passing yards per game (359.8).

Dvorak was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year in his final season, as well as D2CCA Super Region 4 Offensive Player of the Year. The quarterback led NCAA Division II with 4,584 passing yards and 53 touchdowns, rushing for eight more. His 380.2 yards of total offense per game ranks second in D-II and his 172.4 rating is sixth. Dvorak also leads the nation with 366 points responsible for. He enjoyed a record-breaking season as he established the Mines and RMAC career records for passing yards (13,466), yards of total offense (14,608), and passing touchdowns (134); the latter mark ranks second all-time in D-II. Dvorak threw for four or more touchdowns 10 times and five or more five times.

Dvorak becomes the second Hill Trophy winner from the Colorado School of Mines, joining 2004 winner Chad Friehauf. He also gives the RMAC its fourth Hill winner in the last 13 years, with Chadron State's Danny Woodhead winning in 2006 and 2007.

Following Dvorak, Zimmerman and Tucker in the voting were Augustana University senior quarterback Trey Heid (47), Grand Valley State University sophomore running back Marty Carter (45), California University, Pennsylvania senior receiver Garry Brown (35), senior quarterback Jeff Ziemba of Shepherd University (32), senior running back Austin Ekeler of Western State Colorado University (18) and senior quarterback Raleigh Yeldell of Newberry College (9).

The Hill Trophy is named for a former University of North Alabama player — the late Harlon Hill — who was a standout with the Lions from 1950-1953 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.

North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim won the initial Hill Trophy in 1986, before Texas A&M-Kingsville running back Johnny Bailey won three straight Hill trophies from 1987-89.

Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State's Ronnie West in 1991 and Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger Graham in 1993, Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994, North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon in 1995 , Truman State running back Jarrett Anderson in 1996, Bloomsburg running back Irvin Sigler in 1997, Emporia State running back Brian Shay in 1998, Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999, Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001, and Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002. University of North Alabama senior quarterback Will Hall claimed the trophy in 2003. Colorado-Mines quarterback Chad Friehauf took the trophy in 2004, East Stroudsburg's Jimmy Terwilliger in 2005, Chadron State's Danny Woodhead in 2006 and 2007 and Abilene Christian's Bernard Scott in 2008. Wayne State (Mich.) running back Joique Bell won the 2009 Hill Trophy, followed by Central Missouri quarterback Eric Czerniewski in 2010, Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph in 2011, Shippensburg State quarterback Zach Zulli in 2012, Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh in 2013 and Ferris State University quarterback Jason Vander Laan in 2014 and 2015.

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