BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State junior quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) was announced today (Nov. 28) as one of the national finalists for the 2018 Harlon Hill Trophy awarded to the nation's top NCAA Division II football player.
A field of 37 initial nominees has been trimmed to nine national finalists in regional voting for the 2018 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year. The winner of the 2018 award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 14, and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Jan. 10, 2019.
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 33rd winner. The top two players from each of Division II's four Super Regions advanced to the national ballot.
Five quarterbacks, two running backs, one wide receiver and a defensive end comprise the list of 2018 finalists. Five of the finalists helped guide their teams into the 2018 NCAA Division II playoffs and three, including Campbell, have their teams in this weekend's national quarterfinals.
Campbell is now one of six players in school history who have been a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, joining former Ferris State quarterback Bill Love (2nd, 1995), linebacker Monty Brown (5th, 1992), wide receiver Clarence Coleman (5th, 2001) and quarterback Dave DenBraber (7th, 1987) along with two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan (2014-15), who is the only previous FSU player and one of only three in GLIAC history to claim the coveted prize.
Along with Campbell, the other national finalists include: Notre Dame College freshman running back Jaleel McLaughlin and Hillsdale senior quarterback Chance Stewart from Super Region #1, Bowie State senior QB Amir Hall and Valdosta State sophomore QB Rogan Wells from Super Region #2, Campbell and Emporia State senior QB Braxton Marstall along with Southern Arkansas senior receiver Ka'Ronce Higgins from Super Region #3, and Angelo State senior defensive end Markus Jones and Sioux Falls junior running back Gabriel Watson from Super Region #4.
Overall, Campbell is one of only two juniors and four non-seniors among the nine national finalists and is considered one of the favorites to win the coveted award.
The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill, a former University of North Alabama standout, who excelled with the UNA Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.
Information courtesy of ferrisstatebulldogs.com.