football-d2 flag

Harlon Hill Award Committee | November 20, 2017

34 nominated for 2017 Harlon Hill Trophy

  Marc Jones led DII in rushing, setting several PSAC records along the way.

FLORENCE - Ala. -- A total of 34 student-athletes from across the nation have been nominated for the 2017 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.

DII Football Championship bracket

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 169 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 34 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 27.

There are 10 nominees from Super Region 1, seven from Super Region 2, nine from Super Region 3 and eight from Super Region 4.

The winner of the 2017 award will be announced on Friday, December 15 via a webcast and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 5, 2018.

The Hill Trophy is supported by the City of Florence, Ala., the University of North Alabama, 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.     

First round by the numbers       

The group of 34 candidates includes 13 running backs, 12 quarterbacks, four receivers and five defenders.  

There are 17 seniors nominated and 17 under classmen.

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, Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan in 2014 and 2015 and Colorado School of Mines quarterback Justin Dvorak in 2016. .

Harlon Hill Timeline

  • November 27 - Regional voting concludes
  • November 30 - National Finalists are announced
  • December 9 - National voting concludes
  • December 15 -  2017 Harlon Hill Trophy winner will be announced
  • January 5, 2018 - Harlon Hill Trophy presented at a luncheon at the University of North Alabama

2017 Harlon Hill Trophy Nominees


Name Position Class School
Jaymar Anderson TB Junior East Stroudsburg
Walter Fletcher RB Sophomore Edinboro
Luke Hrapchak LB Senior California (Pa.)
Connor Jessop QB Senior Shepherd
Marc Jones RB Junior  Gannon
Marcus Martin DE Senior Slippery Rock
Grant Russell  QB Senior Ohio Domincan
Daouda Sylla RB Senior Findlay
Lenny Williams, Jr.  QB Junior

Indians (Pa.)

Ryan Zapoticky QB Senior Shippensburg


Name Position Class School
Trenton Cannon RB Senior Virginia State
Amir Hall QB Junior Bowie State
Devontae Jackson RB/KR Junior West Georiga
Kyle Kitchens LB Senior  Catawba
Lawrence Pittman RB Senior Wingate
Chris Robinson RB Senior Delta State
Harry Satterwhite QB Junior  West Alabama


Name Position Class  School
Brooke Bolles QB Junior Central Missouri
Drew Harris WR/RB Junior Ouachita Baptist
Kenneth Iheme RB Senior Fort Hays State
Deshawn Jones RB Sophomore  Missouri S&T
J.T. Luper WR Senior Central Oklahoma
Jake Purichia QB Junior Indianapolis
Barrett Renner QB Junior Southern Arkansas
Zach Sieler DE Junior Ferris State
Travis Tarnowski QB Senior Ashland


Name Position Class School
Dennis Gardeck LB Senior Sioux Falls
Ja'Quan Gardner RB Senior Humboldt State
Chad Hovasse WR Junior Adams State
Cameron Mayberry RB Sophomore Colorado Mines
Luis Perez QB Senior Texas A&M-Commerce
Layton Rabb QB Junior Midwestern State
Paul Revis WR Senior Western Oregon
Shane Zylstra WR Sophomore Minnesota State


Undefeated college football teams in 2023

We're following all the action as we track all the remaining undefeated college football teams in the FBS level in the 2023 season.

All-HBCU: The top HBCU football players, by position, from the 2023 season

These are the top players, by position, from the 2023 HBCU football season.

Florida State jumps to No. 4, Ohio State falls to No. 6 in penultimate CFP rankings

In the final CFP rankings before Selection Sunday, Georgia, Michigan, Washington and Florida State snag the top four spots.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners