WATCH ANNOUNCEMENT OF 2014 HILL TROPHY WINNER

Friday - December 19 - 2 p.m. (Central)

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The approximately 15 minute program will include a brief video presentation on Harlon Hill, the history of the Hill Trophy and its previous winners, information on the nine national finalists and the announcement of the 2014 winner. The final voting totals and placements will also be revealed at the end of the broadcast.

 

 

2014 HARLON HILL TROPHY

 
NINE FINALISTS NAMED FOR HILL TROPHY
AS DIVISION II FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

FLORENCE, Ala. -- A field of 36 initial nominees has been trimmed to nine national finalists in regional voting for the 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.


The finalists were selected by the NCAA Division II sports information directors in regional voting and will now be placed on the national ballot where all 168 of the division's SIDs will select the award's 29th winner. The top two players from each of Division II's Super Regions advanced to the national ballot, with the exception of Super Region 4 where three players advanced due to a tie in the voting.


The list of 2014 finalists is comprised of seven quarterbacks and two running backs.
Six of the finalists helped lead their teams into the 2014 NCAA Division II playoffs this season and one of this year's finalists was also a finalist in 2013.


Advancing from Super Region 1 are senior quarterback Steven Laurino of LIU Post (N.Y.) and senior quarterback Sean McCartney of West Chester University (Pa.).

Laurino ranks second nationally in points responsible for this season with 294 after throwing for 29 touchdowns and rushing for 20 more. He has been named Northeast-10 Conference Football Most Valuable Player and led the Pioneers to the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference title and into the Division II Playoffs. Off the field he is a semifinalist for 2014 Campbell Trophy. and has been named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.

 

McCartney leads Division II with 42 touchdown passes this season and led West Chester to a 11-2 record and to the second round of the playoffs. He is ranked among the Division II leaders in eight different categories after throwing for 3,744 yards and averaging almost 15 yards per completion. He has already been selected Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division Offensive Athlete of the Year.


Super Region 2 is represented by senior running back Andy Hibbett of Carson-Newman University (Tenn.) and sophomore quarterback Tyler Sullivan of Delta State University (Miss.).


Hibbett rushed for more than 100 yards in a game eight times during the 2014 season and finished the year with 1,391 rushing yards and 16 TDs. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and ranks ninth nationally with 139.1 yards per game.

 

Sullivan led Delta State to a 9-2 record and into the second round of the Division II Playoffs, throwing for 3,358 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 208 yards and another seven scores. The Statesmen won a share of the 2014 Gulf South Conference Championship.

The top vote getters in Super Region 3 are senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja of Pittsburg State University (Kan.), senior quarterback Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University (Ark.).


Abenoja set a Division II record, throwing 314 consecutive passes without an interception and was the 2014 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year. He led Pitt State to an 11-2 record and into the second round of the Division II Playoffs. He threw for 3,871 yards and 32 touchdowns and added three TDs on the ground while helping lead the Gorillas to a share of the 2014 MIAA Championship.


Rodgers finished third in the 2013 Hill voting and earned Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors for a third straight year. He threw for 3,602 yards and 34 touchdowns this season and his career numbers include 13,687 passing yards and 124 TD passes. Off the field he has been honored as a two-time recipient of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award and was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.


Advancing from Super Region 4 are junior running back Anthony Bilal of Lake Erie College (Ohio), senior quarterback Mark Miller of Ohio Dominican University and junior quarterback Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State University (Mich.).

Bilal ranks second in Division II in rushing yards with 2,091 and an average of 190.1 per game. He also tied for the national lead with 29 rushing touchdowns while earning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Offensive Back of the Year honors.


Miller has led Ohio Dominican to an 11-1 record and into the quarterfinals of the Division II Playoffs. He has thrown for 3,100 yards and 25 touchdowns and ranks among the Division II leaders in passing efficiency and completion percentage. He has thrown just one interception in his last 147 passes and has been sacked just three times all season.


Vander Laan led Ferris State its first GLIAC championship in 15 years and first playoff appearance in 18 years while earning GLIAC Player of the Year honors. He leads Division II in points responsible for with 300 as he threw 30 touchdown passes and rushed for another 20 scores. His 20 rushing TDs are tied for fifth nationally in Division II and his 30 passing TDs rank 14th. He ran for more than 500 yards more than any other quarterback in the nation this year with 1,466 yards on the ground and threw for another 2,381.


National voting will conclude on December 13.


The winner of the 2014 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced via webcast on Friday, December 19 and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 9, 2015.


The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones.



* * *
The initial Harlon Hill Trophy was won by North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim in 1986, followed by 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 and Valdosta State University quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994. North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon became the first defensive player to win the award when he claimed the Hill Trophy in 1995.


Truman State University running back Jarrett Anderson won the 1996 award and Bloomsburg University running back Irvin Sigler claimed the Hill Trophy in 1997 award. Running back Brian Shay of Emporia State won in 1998, followed by Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999 and Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001, and Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002. The 2003 trophy was awarded to North Alabama quarterback Will Hall, and Chad Friehauf of the Colorado School of Mines won the 2004 award. Terwilliger claimed the 2005 Hill Trophy as a junior.

Chadron State's Danny Woodhead won the Hill Trophy in 2006 and 2007, joining Bailey and Bonner as the only multiple winners of the award. Abilene Christian's Bernard Scott won the 2008 Hill Trophy, followed by Wayne State's (Mich.) Joique Bell in 2009, Central Missouri quarterback Eric Czerniewski in 2010, Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph in 2011, Shippensburg quarterback Zach Zulli in 2012 and Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh in 2013.

2014 Harlon Hill Trophy Finalists
Pos. Ht Wt Cl School Hometown
Anthony Abenoja      QB 6-3 217 SR Pittsburg State Overland Park, Kan.
Anthony Bilal             RB 5-7 170 JR Lake Erie Painesville, Ohio
Andy Hibbett              RB 6-0 200 SR Carson-Newman Corryton, Tenn.
Steven Laurino          QB 6-0 197 SR LIU Post Boise, Idaho
Sean McCartney        QB 6-2 200 SR West Chester Doylestown, Pa.
Mark Miller                 QB 6-1 190 SR Ohio Dominican Cincinnati, Ohio
Kevin Rodgers           QB 6-3 215 SR Henderson State Rockwall, Texas
Tyler Sullivan             QB 6-3 235 SO Delta State Louisville, Miss.
Jason Vander Laan   QB 6-4 241 JR Ferris State Frankfort, Ill.

 

For A.M. Release Thursday, November 20

THIRTY SIX PLAYERS NOMINATED FOR HILL TROPHY
AS DIVISION II FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR


    FLORENCE - Ala. -- A total of 36 student-athletes from across the nation have been nominated for the 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year.
    The list of candidates was announced Thursday 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 168 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 36 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.
    The winner of the 2014 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced on Friday, December 19 via a webcast and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 9, 2015.
    The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones.
    Candidates are initially nominated by the sports information directors at their respective schools and are then voted on by the SIDs in their respective Super Region. The winner is then determined in a nation-wide vote of the Division II sports information directors.            The group of 36 candidates includes 20 quarterbacks, nine running backs, two receivers, three linebackers and two defensive linemen. There are 20 seniors, nine juniors and seven sophomores.

    The list of candidates for the 2014 Hill Trophy includes 2013 finalist Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State and regional candidates Matt Soltes of East Stroudsburg, Kyle Caldwell of West Alabama and Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State.
    
  

    * * *

    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 and Bloomsburg’s Franklyn Quiteh in 2013.



2014 Harlon Hill Trophy Nominees

SUPER REGIONAL 1     Pos.      Ht      Wt    Cl          School            Hometown    
Brendan Boylan          QB        6-2    190    JR        Mercyhurst            Independence, Ohio
Joey Bradley               QB        6-1    190    SR        New Haven            Issaquah, Wash.
Garry Brown               WR        6-1    200    SO        California, Pa.            Columbus, Ohio
Shamar Greene           RB        5-9    185    SO        Slippery Rock            Duquesne, Pa.
Danny Guadagnoli       QB        6-1    200    SR        Bentley            Framingham, Wash.
Trevor Harman            WR        6-3    205    SR        Shippensburg            Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Steven Laurino            QB        6-0    197    SR        LIU Post            Boise, Idaho
Sean McCartney          QB        6-2    200    SR        West Chester            Doylestown, Pa.
Brian Novak                  QB        5-11    200    SO        Concord            College Park, Md.
Justin Shirk                   LB        6-0    240    SR        Bloomsburg            Harrisburg, Pa.
Matt Soltes                   QB        6-3    215    JR        East Stroudsburg        Vernon, New Jersey        

SUPER REGIONAL 2     Pos.        Ht      Wt    Cl          School            Hometown    
Kyle Caldwell                QB        5-7    165    SR        West Alabama            Dadeville, Ala.    
Michael Gruber             LB        6-3    240    SR        Brevard            Walterboro, S.C.
Andy Hibbett                RB        6-0    200    SR        Carson-Newman        Corryton, Tenn.
Nick Napolitano             DE        6-3    255    SR        Wingate            Shalotte, N.C.
Jarvis Small                  RB        5-7    206    JR        Albany State            Brunswick, Ga.
Tyler Sullivan                QB        6-3    235    SO        Delta State            Louisville, Miss.        
    

SUPER REGIONAL 3     Pos.        Ht       Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
Anthony Abenoja         QB        6-3    217    SR        Pittsburg State        Overland Park, Kan.
Si’Darius Blackshire      QB        6-0    215    SR        Southern Arkansas        Carthage, Texas
Trey Heid                      QB        6-2    192    SO        Augustana            Lakeville, Minn.
Joshua Gordon              DE        6-2    250    JR        Minnesota State-Mankato    Milwaukee, Wis.
Luke Papilion                 QB        6-5    220    SO        Sioux Falls            Denver, Colo.
Kevin Rodgers               QB        6-3    215    SR        Henderson State        Rockwall, Texas
LaVance Taylor              RB        5-11    195    SR        Central Missouri        Raytown, Mo.
Terrell Watson               RB        6-2    240    SR        Azusa Pacific            Oxnard, Calif.
Romo Westbrook           FB        5-10    210    SR        Harding            Marion, Ark.

SUPER REGIONAL 4     Pos.        Ht       Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
Geremy Alridge-Mitchell RB      5-8    203    JR        West Texas A&M        Dallas, Texas
Anthony Bilal                RB        5-7    170    JR        Lake Erie            Painesville, Ohio
Justin Dvorak                QB        6-0    200    SO        Colorado-Mines        Tomball, Texas
Nores Fradi                    LB        6-1    216    SR        Wayne State (Mich.)        Dearborn Heights, Mich.
Mitch Glasmann             QB        6-3    220    JR        Western New Mexico        Temecula, Calif.
Mark Miller                     QB        6-1    190    SR        Ohio Dominican        Cincinnati, Ohio
Verlon Reed                   QB        6-1    200    SR        Findlay            Columbus, Ohio
Anthony Taylor              TB        5-11    212    SR        Ashland            Arlington, Va.
Jason Vander Laan        QB        6-4    241    JR        Ferris State            Frankfort, Ill.
Kyle Washington            QB        6-5    205    JR        Angelo State            Humble, Texas


IMPORTANT DATES

November 24, 2014

Regional ballots will be emailed no later than Monday, Nov. 24.

November 28, 2014
Regional ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28. The eight national finalists will be announced for release on Monday, Dec. 1.

December 3, 2014

National ballots will be emailed on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

December 13, 2014

On Saturday, Dec. 13, all final ballots will be counted.

December 19, 2014

On Friday December 19, the Harlon Hill Trophy winner will be announced via a webcast at 2:00 p.m. Central.

January 8, 2015

The winner of the 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy will be brought to Florence on Thursday afternoon, January 8.

January 9, 2015

Official presentation of the 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy at a luncheon at the University of North Alabama on Friday, January 9.

 
 

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National Harlon Hill Awards Committee
Florence, AL 35361 U.S.A.