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 start the previews off, we will focus on the best candidates for each conference in SR1, which actually has a new look this season with the G-MAC taking the place of the CIAA. Also included in SR1 are the Mountain East, Northeast 10, and PSAC.
Three candidates have been listed for each conference, for a total of 12 on the preseason watch list. This is the first in a four-part series, so make sure to check back for more looks at the Harlon Hill Trophy before the season begins.
Trey Brock, WR — Hillsdale
A wide receiver rarely wins the Harlon Hill, but Brock is no ordinary receiver, hauling in 77 catches for over 1,300 yards in 2016 with 12 touchdowns. As Hillsdale moves into the GMAC, he should be able to exploit some matchups with players that have never seen him and continue his dominating ways into a possible nomination for the Harlon Hill.
Grant Russell, QB — Ohio Dominican
A new entrant into the G-MAC and SR1, Russell will face stiff competition from around the region because he lacks the superior running ability that other top playmakers have. ODU was picked to win the G-MAC though, and they face some tough competition in the beginning of the year where he can make a name for himself. If the Panthers can make a big playoff run, then Russell will have a much better shot.
Jason Moore, WR — Findlay
Our second non-QB to be mentioned, Moore is a touchdown machine and that historically can get you votes with the Harlon Hill board. With 15 touchdowns against GLIAC foes last year, that number should rise near 20 when facing players who are not as seasoned or skilled as the GLIAC have. Another 1,100 yards will also help his candidacy, and look to make Moore the second wide receiver to be a finalist in as many years.