Former Southwestern QB Perez wins Harlon Hill Award as NCAA Div. II's top player for Texas A&M-Commerce

Former Southwestern QB Perez wins Harlon Hill Award as NCAA Div. II's top player for Texas A&M-Commerce

FLORENCE, Ala. - Texas A&M University-Commerce senior quarterback Luis Perez of Chula Vista, Calif., has claimed the 2017 Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II College Football Player of the Year.
 
Perez received 198 total points and held a commanding 63-point margin over Gannon junior running back Marc Jones at 135. Slippery Rock senior defensive lineman Marcus Martin finished third at 96, marking the highest finish by a defensive lineman in the award's 32-year history. 
 
The award winner is determined in voting by the Division II sports information directors.
 
Perez, who has led A&M-Commerce to a 13-1 record and into Saturday's NCAA Division II National Championship Game, was on 85 of the 106 total ballots cast. He will be just the seventh Hill winner to also play in the Division II National Championship Game in the same season that he won the award.
 
Five of the previous Hill winners, Jeff Bentrim of North Dakota State (1986), Chris Simdorn of North Dakota State (1990), Ronnie West of Pittsburg State (1991), Ronald McKinnon of North Alabama (1995) and Curt Anes of Grand Valley State (2002) also led their teams to the national championship the day after winning the Hill Trophy. Pittsburg State's Ronald Moore (1992) is the only Hill winner to play on the losing team in the championship game. 

The Hill Trophy will be presented to Perez on Friday, January 5, 2018 at a ceremony on the campus of the University of North Alabama, Hill's alma mater.

The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored by Herff Jones, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and the University of North Alabama. .

Perez has thrown for 4,678 yards and 44 touchdowns this season, while completing better than 70 percent of his pass attempts. He has completed 398 of 566 passes leads Division II in total passing yards (4,678), passing yards per game (334.0) and passing touchdowns (44). He is ranked third in points responsible for (272), sixth in points responsible for per game (19.4), sixth in total offense (329.2) and tenth in passing efficiency (161.8). 
 
He has been named a first team All-American by the Associated Press and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association, second team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, and D2CCA Ron Lenz Offensive Player of the Year. He won the J.W. Rollins Award as the Lone Star Conference's Offensive Player of the Year and is a two-time first team all-LSC quarterback. He was also named first team all-region and regional offensive player of the year.
 
Perez is the first quarterback at A&M-Commerce since 1980 (Wade Wilson) to be named a First Team All-American and the first to receive multiple First Team All-America awards in the same season since Sam McCord in 1958.
 
Perez has thrown at least four touchdown passes seven times this season and went 269 pass attempts without an interception. He is NCAA Division II's active passing leader at 8,002 yards over the past two seasons with 76 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The Chula Vista, Calif., native is the reigning J.W. Rollins Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year and posted 10 consecutive 300-yard passing games this season including a campaign-best 482-yard effort against Tarleton State.
 
Perez is the Lone Star Conference's fifth all-time winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy. A&M-Kingsville running back Johnny Bailey won three consecutive Hill Trophies from 1987-89 and Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott won the Trophy in 2008.

Following Perez, Jones and Martin in the voting were senior quarterback Connor Jessop of Shepherd (61), junior quarterback Amir Hall of Bowie State (50), senior receiver J.T. Luper of Central Oklahoma (39), senior running back Ja'Quan Gardner of Humboldt State (24), junior quarterback Brook Bolles of Central Missouri (14),  junior running back Devontae Jackson of West Georgia (12), and junior quarterback Harry Satterwhite of West Alabama (7). 
 
The Hill Trophy is named for a former University of North Alabama player - the late Harlon Hill - who was a standout with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears

(Release and graphic courtesy Texas A&M-Commerce Athletics)

2017 HARLON HILL TROPHY VOTE TOTALS

Points Player       1st 2nd 3rd
198 Luis Perez SR QB A&M-Commerce 44 25 16
135 Marc Jones JR RB Gannon 22 27 15
  96 Marcus Martin SR DE Slippery Rock 13 16 25
  61 Connor Jessop SR QB Shepherd 8 12 13
  50 Amir Hall JR QB Bowie State 12 3 8
  39 J.T. Luper SR WR Central Oklahoma 2 11 11
  24 Ja'Quan Gardner SR RB Humboldt State 3 4 7
  14 Brook Bolles JR QB Central Missouri 1 3 5
  12 Devontae Jackson JR RB West Georgia 0 5 2
    7 Harry Satterwhite JR QB  West Alabama 1 0 4

 
ALL-TIME HARLON HILL TROPHY WINNERS
 

Year     Player Pos.     School Point Total
1986     Jeff Bentrim         QB North Dakota State 133
1987     Johnny Bailey         RB Texas A&M-Kingsville 106
1988     Johnny Bailey         RB Texas A&M-Kingsville 158
1989   Johnny Bailey         RB Texas A&M-Kingsville 182
1990     Chris Simdorn         QB North Dakota State 123
1991     Ronnie West         WR Pittsburg State 109
1992     Ronald Moore         RB Pittsburg State 148
1993     Roger Graham         RB New Haven 160
1994     Chris Hatcher         QB     Valdosta State 209
1995     Ronald McKinnon     LB     North Alabama 188 
1996     Jarrett Anderson     TB     Truman State 207
1997     Irvin Sigler         TB     Bloomsburg 208
1998     Brian Shay         RB     Emporia State 303
1999     Corte McGuffey         QB     Northern Colorado 205
2000     Dusty Bonner         QB     Valdosta State 156
2001     Dusty Bonner         QB     Valdosta State 209
2002     Curt Anes         QB     Grand Valley State 271
2003     Will Hall         QB North Alabama 150
2004     Chad Friehauf         QB     Colorado School of Mines 194
2005     Jimmy Terwilliger     QB     East Stroudsburg 121
2006     Danny Woodhead     RB     Chadron State 187
2007     Danny Woodhead    RB Chadron State 175
2008     Bernard Scott         RB     Abilene Christian 253
2009     Joique Bell         RB     Wayne State (Mich.) 138
2010     Eric Czerniewski     QB     Central Missouri 164    
2011     Jonas Randolph     RB     Mars Hill 120
2012     Zach Zulli         QB     Shippensburg 202
2013     Franklyn Quiteh         RB     Bloomsburg 182
2014     Jason Vander Laan     QB     Ferris State 152
2015     Jason Vander Laan     QB     Ferris State 200
2016     Justin Dvorak         QB     Colorado School of Mines 185
2017     Luis Perez         QB A&M-Commerce  198


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