Monday, December 1, 2008

Harlon Hill - 3 Finalists Named

FLORENCE, Ala. -- The voting has concluded for the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year Award, and while the results of that voting won't be announced until December 12, three players have received invitations to attend the 23rd Annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet for the naming of the top player in Division II.

Senior quarterback A.J. Milwee of the University of North Alabama, senior quarterback Mike Reilly of Central Washington University and senior running back Bernard Scott of Abilene Christian University (Texas) have emerged as the top three vote-getters from a field of eight finalists in voting by the sports information directors at the 149 schools that compete in Division II football. 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 for the 2008 Hill Trophy were 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.

National voting concluded on November 29 and the top three finishers are invited to the Shoals for the presentation banquet. The winner of the 2008 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the Harlon Hill Trophy and Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, December 12 in Florence, prior to the NCAA Division II Football Championship Game on Dec. 13.

Other finalists for the 2008 award were junior quarterback Trevor Harris of Edinboro University, junior quarterback Brad Iciek of Grand Valley State University, senior quarterback Corey Russell of Tusculum College, senior quarterback Ted Schlafke of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and senior receiver Michael Washington of West Chester University.

Milwee, a senior from Boaz, Ala., has a 33-4 record as a starting quarterback at North Alabama and has led the Lions to a 12-1 record in 2008 and into this weekend's playoff semifinals. He has thrown for 3,176 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2008 and is ranked fourth nationally in passing efficiency with a 177.3 rating. He has been picked off just four times in 324 passes this season and his career interception ratio is a remarkable 2.11, or just 21 interceptions in 991 career passes. He accounted for more than 9,000 yards of career total offense at UNA and has 73 career touchdown passes and 18 rushing TDs.

Reilly, a senior from Kalispell, Montana, threw for 3,706 yards and 37 touchdowns this season. He set an NCAA all-divisions record by throwing at least one touchdown pass in 46 consecutive games. He ranks third in Division II history in both career passing yards (12,448) and career total offense (13,711). He led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record and into the Division II playoffs this Fall. He ranks in the top seven in Division II in six offensive categories in 2008.

Scott, a senior from Vernon, Texas., was the runner-up for the 2007 Hill Trophy. This season he has rushed for 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns and caught 47 passes or 826 yards and another six TDs. He led Division II in scoring (17.0) and all-purpose yards (256.8) and was second in rushing with a 179.7 yard average per game. He led Abilene Christian to an 11-1 record and a Lone Star Conference championship this season. He averaged better than eight yards per carry and rushed for more than 200 yards in four of his last six games. He rushed for more than 100 yards in his last 17 straight games. In one playoff game alone against West Texas A&M, Scott rushed for 292 yards and six TDs and added another touchdown on a pass reception.

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Related: ACU's Scott a finalist for Harlon Hill Trophy
Related: Buffs faced two of three Harlon Hill finalists

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