LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) football standouts have been nominated for the 2019 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year. Overall, 36 total nominees from across the nation were announced by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.
Ferris State senior defensive end Austin Edwards, and Wayne State Linebacker Leon Eggleston achieved nomination status as part of the ten nominees from Super Regional 3.
Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes won the Hill Trophy in 2002 followed by Wayne State running back Joique Bell in 2009. Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan became the fourth two-time winner hoisting the trophy in both 2014 and 2015. Another Ferris State quarterback claimed the honors in 2018, when Jayru Campbell was awarded the trophy after leading the Bulldogs to the National Championship game.
Ten nominees hail from Super Region 1, four from Super Region 2, 10 from Super Region 3 and 12 from Super Region 4.
The sports information directors at the 167 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions nominate and vote on the award. 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 Monday, December 2.
The winner of the 2019 award will be announced on Friday, December 20 and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on January 9, 2020.
The sports information directors at their respective schools nominate candidates. The SIDs in those Super Regions vote for their top five candidates. The winner is then determined in a nation-wide vote of the Division II sports information directors.
The group of 36 candidates includes 13 quarterbacks, 10 running backs, seven wide receivers, three defensive linemen and three linebackers.
Their list features 20 seniors, 10 juniors, five sophomores and one freshman. Two nominees - Notre Dame (Ohio)'s Jaleel McLaughlin and Valdosta State's Rogan Wells - return after advancing to the finalist stage in 2018.
The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill - the former University of North Alabama standout - who excelled with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in