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.
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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 Ht Wt Cl Pos. School Hometown
Mike Anderson RB 5-9 190 SR West Virginia Wesleyan Elkridge, Md.
Garry Brown WR 6-1 200 SR California, Pa. Columbus, Ohio
Robert Healy RB 5-10 185 SR East Stroudsburg East Meadow, N.Y.
Jordan Morgan OL 6-4 320 SR Kutztown Philadelphia, Pa.
Jake Sisson QB 6-0 214 JR Edinboro Jamestown, N.Y.
Lenny Williams QB 5-11 202 SO Indiana, Pa. McKees Rocks, Pa.
Jeff Ziemba QB 6-3 212 SR Shepherd Newark, Del.

SUPER REGIONAL 2 Ht Wt Cl Pos. School Hometown
Donta Armstrong WR 5-10 160 JR West Alabama Pittsboro, Miss.
Matt Davis PKP 6-1 190 SR UNC Pembroke Richlands, N.C.
Dylan Donahue DE 6-3 244 SR West Georgia Billings, Mt.
Blake Hayes RB 5-11 225 JR Wingate Greenville, S.C.
Kaleb Nobles QB 5-10 195 GR West Florida Fitzgerald, Ga.
Whitney Richardson DE 6-5 235 JR Lane Perkinston, Miss.
Chris Robinson RB 5-9 193 JR Delta State Bude, Miss.
Jacob Tucker QB 6-2 185 SR North Alabama Linden, Tenn.
Brian Walker DB 6-0 185 SR Fort Valley State Cairo, Ga.
Raleigh Yeldell QB 6-0 175 SR Newberry Edgefield, S.C.

SUPER REGIONAL 3 Ht Wt Cl Pos. School Hometown
Drew Bauer QB 6-2 215 SR Minnesota Duluth Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Andrew Elffers QB 6-3 220 JR Azusa Pacific Arcadia, Calif.
Garrett Fugate QB 6-3 210 SR Central Missouri Overland Park, Kan.
Damon Gibson WR 6-4 230 JR Minnesota State Moorhead Beardsley, Minn.
Connor Harris LB 6-0 243 SR Lindenwood Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Trey Heid QB 6-2 197 SR Augustana (S.D.) Lakeville, Minn.
Jordan Hein QB 6-2 220 JR Bemidji State Perham, Minn.
Tyke Kozeal ILB 6-0 240 SR Nebraska Kearney Sargent, Neb.
Max Mickey RB 5-9 185 JR Sioux Falls Holden, Mo.
Reid Miller QB 6-3 230 SR Northwestern Oklahoma State Pampa, Texas
Jack Nelson QB 6-4 225 SR Winona State Byron, Minn.
Jameson Parsons WR 6-2 203 SR St. Cloud State Eagan, Minn.
Barrett Renner QB 6-3 192 SO Southern Arkansas Rowlett, Texas
Kyle Zimmerman QB 6-1 200 SR Northwest Missouri State Overland Park, Kan.

SUPER REGIONAL 4 Ht Wt Cl Pos. School Hometown
Reggie Bell QB 6-3 200 JR Ferris State Los Angeles, Calif.
Romello Brown RB 5-11 248 JR Wayne State (Mich.) Westland, Mich.
Marty Carter RB 6-0 202 SO Grand Valley State East Chicago, Ill.
Keelan Cole WR 6-2 175 SR Kentucky Wesleyan Louisville, Ky.
Justin Dvorak QB 6-0 200 SR Colorado-Mines Tomball, Texas
T.J. Edwards QB 5-11 178 SO Southwest Baptist Garland, Texas
Austin Ekeler RB 5-9 198 SR Western State Eaton, Colo.
Brandon Jones DE 6-3 290 SO Texas A&M-Kingsville Houston, Texas
Luis Perez QB 6-3 220 JR Texas A&M-Commerce San Diego, Calif.
Grant Russell QB 6-4 215 JR Ohio Dominican Newark, Ohio
Adam Shaheen TE 6-6 277 JR Ashland Galena, Ohio

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