The NCAA Division II sports information directors selected the finalists through a round of regional voting. The nine finalists will now be placed on the national ballot where all 166 of the division’s SIDs will select the award’s 33rd winner. The top two players from Super Region 1, Super Region 2 and Super Region 4 advanced to the national ballot, while Super Region 3 saw three players make the final ballot, due to a tie in the voting.
Five quarterbacks, two running backs, one wide receiver and a defensive end comprised the list of 2018 finalists.
Jaleel McLaughlin @NDCFB
Chance Stewart @HCChargers
Amir Hall @BowieState
Rogan Wells @valdostastatefb
Jayru Campbell @ferrisathletics
Ka’Ronce Higgins @MuleriderSports
Braxton Marstall @emporiastate
Markus Jones @AngeloSports
Gabriel Watson @USFCooFootball pic.twitter.com/2XiHDGU5MK
— Harlon Hill Award (@HarlonHillAward) November 28, 2018
Notre Dame College freshman running back Jaleel McLaughlin and Hillsdale senior quarterback Chance Stewart advanced from Super Region #1.
Two quarterbacks – Bowie State senior Amir Hall and Valdosta State sophomore Rogan Wells – moved on from Super Region #2.
A pair of signal callers – Ferris State junior Jayru Campbell and Emporia State senior Braxton Marstall – joined Southern Arkansas senior receiver Ka’Ronce Higgins as the finalists from Super Region #3.
Super Region #4 produced the only set of finalists without a quarterback as Angelo State senior defensive end Markus Jones and Sioux Falls junior running back Gabriel Watson earned spots on the national ballot.
Five of the finalists helped guide their teams into the 2018 NCAA Division II playoffs and three – McLaughlin, Campbell and Wells – will compete in this weekend’s quarterfinal matchups.
The winner of the 2018 award will be announced on Friday, December 14 and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on January 10, 2019.
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 the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.