Northwest Missouri State senior quarterback Blake Bolles is one of six regional finalist for the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy given to Division II football’s top player. A total of 24 candidates – six from all four regions – are in the running the National Harlon Hill Award Committee announced Friday.
Players are nominated and voted on by sports information directors at the 148 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 24 regional finalists will be trimmed to eight – two from each region – when regional voting concludes Nov. 19.
The winner of the Harlon Hill Award will be announced Dec. 17 in Florence, Ala. This year’s ceremony will also include the induction of coaches Mel Tjeerdsma (Northwest Missouri State), Ken Sparks (Carson-Newman) and Bobby Wallace (West Alabama) into the Division II Hall of Fame. The NCAA Division II championship game will take place the next day at Braly Municipal Stadium.
The group of 24 candidates includes 15 quarterbacks, seven running backs, one receiver and one linebacker. There are 13 seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
Bolles represents Super Regional 4 and is accompanied on the ballot by Central Missouri senior quarterback Eric Czerniewski, Southwest Baptist senior quarterback Steve Gachette, West Texas A&M senior quarterback Taylor Harris, Abilene Christian sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale and Central Oklahoma freshman running back Josh Birmingham.
Bolles is the fourth-most efficient passer in the nation (164.4) and the fourth-most efficient quarterback in Division II history (168.4). He broke Chris Greisen’s program record for career touchdowns two weeks ago against Fort Hays State and needs 24 yards passing Saturday to break Chris Greisen’s career yards mark.
Bolles is 22-2 in his career as a starter and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 24 collegiate starts. He’s thrown for 2,612 yards and 21 touchdowns this season and 7,434 yards and 70 touchdowns in his career. With a 67.6 completion percentage, he is the most accurate thrower in program history.