Release Courtesy of the Harlon Hill Committee
FLORENCE, Ala. - Saginaw Valley State University standout wide receiver Jeff Janis (Tawas, Mich./Tawas Area HS) was named one of 24 candidates for the the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy today (Nov. 9) as announced by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.
Janis, a junior wide receiver has had a record breaking season for the Cardinals this year. To date his 96 receptions rank third in DII, while his 1470 yards are top in the Nation. He has also caught 15 touchdown pass this season and has been named the GLIAC Offensive "Player of the Week" three times this season. Janis registered a GLIAC and SVSU record 300 yards receiving against Lake Erie in week 4, he also broke the GLIAC and SVSU mark for receptions with an 18 catch effort against Michigan Tech in week 9. In that same contest he eclipsed the single season SVSU marks for receptions and yards in a season. He currently sits just nine catches short of breaking the single season GLIAC mark of 89 receptions.
A total of 24 candidates are in the running for the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
The list of candidates was announced Friday morning by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.
The list includes six 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 24 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 17.
The winner of the 2012 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 27th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, December 14 at the Florence Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. This year's Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the 14th induction into the Division II Football Hall of Fame.
The NCAA Division II Championship Game is scheduled for December 15 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 24 candidates includes nine quarterbacks, eight running backs, five receivers, a linebacker and a defensive lineman. There are 14 seniors, nine juniors and one sophomore.
Among the players vying for the 2012 award from the Super Regional 1 are senior wide receiver Tyron Laughinghouse of St. Augustine's University (N.C.), senior quarterback Kevin Morton of Kutztown University (Pa.), junior running back Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg University (Pa.), senior quarterback Kameron Smith of Winston-Salem State University (N.C.), senior running back Harvie Tuck of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and junior quarterback Zach Zulli of Shippensburg University (Pa.)
Candidates from Super Regional 2 are senior wide receiver Chris Bowden of Wingate University (N.C.), junior wide receiver Gerald Ford of Valdosta State University (Ga.), senior linebacker Corey Jones of Lane College (Tenn.), senior quarterback David Thomas of Miles College (Ala.), senior defensive end Ridge Wilson of the University of West Alabama and senior tailback Derrick Washington of Tuskegee (Ala.).
Super Regional 3 is represented by junior wide receiver John Brown of Pittsburg State University (Kan.), senior quarterback Tyler Eckenrode of Emporia State University (Kan.), senior running back Michael Hill of Missouri Western State University, junior quarterback Phillip Klaphake of St. Cloud State University (Minn.), sophomore quarterback Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University (Ark.) and senior running back Rayon Simmons of Winona State University (Minn.).
Selected from Super Regional 4 are junior running back Kay Fiecher of the University of India- napolis (Ind.), senior running back Joe Glendening of Hillsdale College (Mich.), senior quarterback Taylor Housewright of Ashland University (Ohio), junior running back Keidrick Jackson of Midwestern State University (Texas), junior wide receiver Jeff Janis of Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.) and junior quarterback Dustin Vaughn of West Texas A&M University.
Only two of this year's candidates - Morton and Glendening - were also candidates a year ago.
Additional Harlon Hill Notes
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 and Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph won in 2011.