FLORENCE, Ala. - Saginaw Valley State University senior quarterback Jonathon Jennings is one of 28 candidates in the running for the 2013 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
The list of candidates was announced Thursday morning by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.
The list includes seven players from each of the four Division II Super Regions.
Jennings has put together a stellar 2013 season in his senior campaign. The Columbus, Ohio native has posted a 68.0% completion percentage while throwing for 2,978 yards and a league-leading 30 touchdowns. Jennings has added 349 yards on the ground with a team-high nine rushing touchdowns. The two-time All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection has broken the GLIAC records for passing (9,247) and total offense (10,280) in conference games only and still has one regular season contest remaining. He broke two SVSU single game records this season, throwing for 541 yards and seven touchdowns in the team's 47-34 victory over Hillsdale College. Jennings currently leads the nation in passing efficiency with a 194.0 rating. He has led the Cardinals to a 9-1 overall record in 2013 with a 9-0 mark thus far in GLIAC play. SVSU clinched its third-straight GLIAC North Division Championship and looks to secure at least a share with a victory over Grand Valley State on Saturday. Saginaw Valley is currently ranked #15 in the AFCA DII Coaches' Poll and #11 in the D2football.com Top 25 Poll.
Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 168 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 28 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 22.
The winner of the 2013 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 28th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, December 20 at the Florence Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. This year's Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the 15th induction into the Division II Football Hall of Fame.
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 28 candidates includes 17 quarterbacks, seven running backs, three receivers and a linebacker. There are 20 seniors, five juniors and three sophomores.
A total of 13 of the 28 candidates are on teams currently ranked in the NCAA Division II Top 25.
The list of candidates for the 2013 Hill Trophy includes 2012 winner Zach Zulli of Shippensburg University, third-place finisher Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg University and sixth place finisher Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University.
Among the players vying for the 2013 award from the Super Region 1 are senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale of Slippery Rock University (Pa.), senior quarterback Joe Clancy of Merrimack College; senior quarterback D.J. Mendenhall of Urbana (Ohio) University, senior running back Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, sophomore quarterback Matt Soltes of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University, senior running back Rondell White of West Chester (Pa.) University and senior quarterback Zach Zulli of Shippensburg (Pa.) University.
Candidates from Super Regional 2 are senior quarterback Kyle Caldwell of the University of West Alabama, senior quarterback Luke Charles of the University of North Carolina Pembroke, senior quarterback Bo Cordell of Tusculum College (Tenn.), senior wide receiver Freddie Martino of North Greenville University, senior quarterback Robbie Nallenweg of Wingate University (N.C.), senior quarterback Chris Rini of Lane College (Tenn.) and senior linebacker Tavarius Wilson of the University of North Alabama.
Super Regional 3 is represented by senior wide receiver John Brown of Pittsburg State University (Kan.), junior wide receiver Marquez Clark of the University of Central Oklahoma, senior quarterback Phillip Klaphake of St. Cloud State Universty (Minn.), junior quarterback Kevin Rodgers of Henderson State University (Ark.), junior running back Chris Smith of Upper Iowa University, junior running back Tyler Tonderum of Southwest Minnesota State University and senior quarterback Jon Wolf of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Selected from Super Regional 4 are junior quarterback Chris Bonner of Colorado State University, Pueblo, senior tailback Glen Clinton of Chadron State College (Neb.), sophomore running back Daiquone Ford of the University of Findlay (Ohio), senior running back Keidrick Jackson of Midwestern State University (Texas), senior quarterback Jonathon Jennings of Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.), sophomore quarterback Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State University (Mich.) and senior quarterback Dustin Vaughan of West Texas A&M.