LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A list of 48 student-athletes from across the nation have been nominated for the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year.
A total of 12 nominees hail from Super Region 1, 11 from Super Region 2, 14 from Super Region 3 and 11 from Super Region 4. UNK and the MIAA are in Super Region 3 along with schools from Great American Conf. (GAC), Great Lakes Valley Conf. (GLVC) and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conf. (GLIAC).
Shepherd (W.V.) University’s Tyson Bagent, the 2021 Hill recipient and a 2022 nominee from Super Region I, could become the fifth repeat winner in award history. Nebraska-Kearney’s TJ Davis (Colorado Springs) and Bemidji State’s Brandon Alt also return after reaching the finalist stage a season ago.
Davis led UNK to an 8-3 mark this past season, totaling 1,136 rushing and 1,370 passing yards with 29 touchdowns (16 passing and 13 rushing). He went over 3,000 career rushing and 4,000 career passing yards, reached 100 career TD’s, had 10 straight games with a TD toss and eight straight 100-yard rushing efforts. Subsequently, he repeated as the MIAA Offensive Player of the Year.
Bagent, considered to be a 2023 NFL draft prospect, has led the Rams (11-1) to the second-round of the NCAA Playoffs. He’s up to 3,812 passing yards with 39 TD’s (35 passing and four rushing).
The group of 48 candidates includes 16 quarterbacks, 10 wide receivers, eight running backs, seven defensive linemen, six linebackers and one punter/kicker. The list features 35 seniors, seven sophomores and six juniors. Other MIAA nominees are Northwest Missouri defensive end Elijah Green, Emporia State QB Braden Gleason and Washburn receiver/return specialist James Letcher Jr.
The sports information directors at the 164 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions nominate and vote on the award. The 48 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, Nov. 28.
The winner of the 2022 award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 16 and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.