UNK Football: Davis Finalist for Harlon Hill
Little Rock, Ark. – Nebraska-Kearney redshirt senior quarterback TJ Davis is one of nine finalists for the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
Sports information directors (SID's) at 165 Division II football-playing institutions nominate and vote on the award. The 48 initial candidates were placed on regional ballots with the top two vote-getters from each four regions advancing to the national ballot when voting concluded on Monday, Nov. 28. There was a tie in UNK's Super Region 3, thus making it nine nominees this fall.
The winner is determined in a nation-wide vote of D2 school and conference SID's (178 total); the national voting process will take place over the first two weeks of December. The 36th winner in the trophy's history will be announced on Friday, Dec. 16 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club Awards Banquet on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. The Great American Conference (GAC) assists in the Little Rock Touchdown Club in sponsoring the award.
Davis (Colorado Springs/Widefield H.S.), the 2021 Harlon Hill Runner Up, had another productive fall as UNK went 8-3 in the MIAA and was nationally and regionally ranked throughout the fall. For the regular season, he was the second-best rushing QB in the NCAA (1,136), one of two D2 QB's to run and throw (1,370) for over 1,000 yards while tallying 29 touchdowns (16 rushing and 13 passing). Next, he had a 146.6 passer efficiency, five 100-yard rushing games and 10 straight games with a TD toss. Finally, the 2022 MIAA Offensive Player of the Year went over 100 career TD's (1-2), 3,000 career rush yards (3,664) and 4,000 career pass yards (4,791).
The Sports Management major joins fellow QB's Justin Coleman (1999 and 2000) and Jake Spitzlberger (2011) as Loper Harlon Hill Finalists. Coleman was sixth in 1999 and then runner-up his senior season with Spitzlberger finishing sixth as well.
Senior QB Tyson Bagent of Shepherd was the 2021 winner and is a national finalist again. Having recently garnered an invite to the 2023 Senior Bowl, he enters the third-round of the playoffs with 4,184 passing yards and 37 TD's. Bagent tallied 169 points (44 1st place) to win last fall with Davis second (105 points; 17 1st place).
The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill - the former University of North Alabama (UNA) standout - who excelled with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.
2022 Harlon Hill National Finalists
Super Region 1
Tyson Bagent, Sr., QB, Shepherd (W.V.) ... Rams still in the playoffs
Jarod Bowie, Jr., WR, Concord (W.V.)
Super Region 2
Mario Anderson, So., RB, Newberry (S.C.)
Jada Byers, So., RB, Virginia Union
Super Region 3
TJ Cole, Sr., RB, Ouachita Baptist (Ark.)
TJ Davis, Sr., QB, UNK
Caleb Murphy, Sr., DE, Ferris State (Mich.) … Bulldogs still in the playoffs
Super Region 4
Brandon Alt, Jr., QB, Bemidji State (Minn.)
John Matocha, Sr., QB, Colorado School of Mines ... Orediggers still in the playoffs