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    FLORENCE - Ala. -- A total of 28 candidates are in the running for the 2013 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA 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 seven 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 28 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 22.
    The winner of the 2013 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 28th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, December 20 at the Florence Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. This year’s Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the 15th  induction  into the Division II Football Hall of Fame.
    The 2013 Hall of Fame clas includes former Valdosta State University quarterback Dusty Bonner, former Jacksonville State University tight end Keith McKeller and former Indiana University, Pa., head coach Frank Cignetti.
    Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight and can be purchased by calling the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at (256) 764-4661.
    The NCAA Division II Championship Game is scheduled for December 21 at Florence’s Braly Municipal Stadium at noon.
    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 were initially nominated by the sports information directors at their respective schools and those nominations were then reviewed by the Hill Regional Advisory Committees, which trimmed the list of candidates.
        The group of 28 candidates includes 17 quarterbacks, seven running backs, three receivers and a linebacker. There are 20 seniors, five juniors and three sophomores.
    A total of 13 of the 28 candidates are on teams currently ranked in the NCAA Division II Top 25.
    The list of candidates for the 2013 Hill Trophy includes 2012 winner Zach Zulli of Shippensburg University, third-place finisher Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg University and sixth place finisher Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University.

Among the players vying for the 2013 award from the Super Region 1 are senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale of Slippery Rock University (Pa.), senior quarterback Joe Clancy of Merrimack College; senior quarterback D.J. Mendenhall of Urbana (Ohio) University, senior running back Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, sophomore quarterback Matt Soltes of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University, senior running back Rondell White of West Chester (Pa.) University and senior quarterback Zach Zulli of Shippensburg (Pa.) University.   
    Candidates from Super Regional 2 are senior quarterback Kyle Caldwell of the University of West Alabama, senior quarterback Luke Charles of the University of North Carolina Pembroke, senior quarterback Bo Cordell of Tusculum College (Tenn.), senior wide receiver Freddie Martino of North Greenville University, senior quarterback Robbie Nallenweg of Wingate University (N.C.), senior quarterback Chris Rini of Lane College (Tenn.) and senior linebacker Tavarius Wilson of the University of North Alabama.

    Super Regional 3  is represented by senior wide receiver John Brown of Pittsburg State University (Kan.),  junior wide receiver Marquez Clark of the University of Central Oklahoma, senior quarterback  Phillip Klaphake of St. Cloud State Universty (Minn.), junior quarterback Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University (Ark.), junior running back Chris Smith of Upper Iowa University, junior running back Tyler Tonderum of Southwest Minnesota State University and senior quarterback Jon Wolf of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

    Selected from Super Regional 4 are junior quarterback Chris Bonner of Colorado State University, Pueblo, senior tailback Glen Clinton of Chadron State College (Neb.), sophomore running back Daiquone Ford of the University of Findlay (Ohio), senior running back Keidrick Jackson of Midwestern State University (Texas), senior quarterback Jonathon Jennings of Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.), sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State University (Mich.) and senior quarterback Dustin Vaughan of West Texas A&M.

    * * *
    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 and Zulli in 2012.

2013 Harlon Hill Trophy Candidates

SUPER REGIONAL 1     Pos.    Ht    Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
Nigel Barksdale                QB        5-10    170    SR        Slippery Rock            San Jacinto, California    
Joe Clancy                        QB        6-3    210    SR        Merrimack            Newburyport, Massachusetts        
D.J. Mendenhall                QB        6-5    230    SR        Urbana            West Jefferson, Ohio    
Franklyn Quiteh                RB        5-9    206    SR        Bloomsburg            Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania        
Matt Soltes                        QB        6-3    210    SO        East Stroudsburg        Vernon, New Jersey        
Rondell White                RB        5-10    185    SR        West Chester            West Chester, Pennsylvania    
Zach Zulli                                QB        6-1    205    SR        Shippensburg            Schwenksville, Pennsylvania    

SUPER REGIONAL 2     Pos.    Ht    Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
Kyle Caldwell                QB        5-7    165    SR        West Alabama            Dadeville, Alabama        
Luke Charles                QB        6-1    215    SR        UNC Pembroke        Murphy, North Carolina       
Bo Cordell                            QB        6-0    205    SR        Tusculum            Cincinnati, Ohio           
Freddie Martino                WR        6-0    195    SR        North Greenville        North, South Carolina   
Robbie Nallenweg            QB        6-5    230    SR        Wingate            Asheville, North Carolina       
Chris Rini                                QB        6-3    185    SR     Lane            Key Largo, Florida       
Tavarius Wilson                LB        5-11    235    SR        North Alabama        Jackson, Mississippi           

SUPER REGIONAL 3     Pos.    Ht    Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
John Brown                        WR        5-11    170    SR        Pittsburg State        Homestead, Florida            
Marquez Clark                WR        5-11    90        JR        Central Oklahoma        Texarkana, Texas        
Phillip Klaphake                QB        6-1    196    SR        St. Cloud State        Princeton, Minnesota      
 Kevin Rodgers                QB        6-3    215    JR        Henderson State        Rockwall, Texas        
Chris Smith                        RB        5-8    190    JR        Upper Iowa            Brown Deer, Wisconsin        
Tyler Tonderum                RB        5-10    191    JR        Southwest Minnesota St.    Armstrong, Iowa
Jon Wolf                                QB        6-4    230    SR        Minnesota State-Mankato    Oak Forest, Illinois    

SUPER REGIONAL 4     Pos.    Ht    Wt    Cl        School            Hometown    
Chris Bonner                QB        6-7    225    JR        Colorado State-Pueblo    San Diego, California        
Glen Clinton                        TB        5-10    200    SR        Chadron State            Cody, Wyoming        
Daiquone Ford                RB        5-7    190    SO        Findlay            Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Keidrick Jackson                RB        5-9    210    SR        Midwestern State        Arlington, Texas        
Jonathon Jennings            QB        6-2    205    SR        Saginaw Valley State        Columbus, Ohio
Jason Vander Laan            QB        6-4    236    SO         Ferris State            Frankfort, Illinois       
Dustin Vaughan                QB        6-5    220    SR        West Texas A&M        Corpus Christi, Texas            



©Copyright 2004; All Rights Reserved
National Harlon Hill Awards Committee
Florence, AL 35361 U.S.A.