As the D2 football season approaches, it is time to take a look at the top candidates for the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded to the best player of D2 for the coming season.
To continue our previews, we will focus on the best candidates for each conference in SR2, which like its counterpart in SR1, has a new conference joining its ranks. The four leagues now part of the super region include the CIAA, Gulf South, South Atlantic, and SIAC.
Three candidates have been listed for each conference, for a total of 12 on the preseason watch list. This is the second in a four-part series and you can find our first entry on Super Region One below. Continue to check back in the coming days for looks at Super Regions Three and Four.
Amir Hall, QB — Bowie State
Hall burst onto the scene with a huge season with Bowie, continuing their overall program success and building momentum toward what should be a big 2017 season for the Bulldogs. Hall has one of the strongest arms in the country, tossing for at least 400 yards three times in 2016 as part of his total 3,596 yards and 30 touchdowns. With another successful season and Bowie a potential playoff team, Hall is the safest bet to be nominated from the CIAA.
Carlo Thomas, DB — Johnson C. Smith
A prime defensive candidate to win the award, Thomas is the ultimate ball-hawk in D2, nabbing 19 interceptions over the last two seasons of play. He topped out at 12 in one season, and that's a number he'll need to hit again to warrant serious consideration as no defensive back has ever won the award. JCSU is not expected to be a big contender this year either, so a monster season from a potential NFL pick will be needed if he is to get his name on the list.
Trenton Cannon, RB — Virginia State
A rising senior, Cannon brings dynamic scoring ability to the Trojan backfield as he scored 18 touchdowns last season to pair with over 1,200 yards rushing. Harlon Hill voters love players that can combine yardage with scoring ability, and Cannon has shown he is capable of that. If his touchdown numbers stay the same this year and he increases his yardage output, we could see the Virginia native at least be a nominee.