Missouri Western senior running back Michael Hill has been named one of three finalist for the 2012 Harlon Hill Award as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year. The winner will be announced on Dec. 14 at the Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet prior to the NCAA Division II Championship game the following day.
Hill has started all 13 games for the Griffons rushing for over 100 yards in 12 of the 13 games which includes rushing for over 150 yards eight time and 200 twice this season. He was the MIAA Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MIAA as well as Daktronics Super Region 3 Offensive Player of the Year and First Team Daktronics Super Region 3 running back. He rushed for a career high 259 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over Washburn earlier this season and has helped the Griffons win six straight games over top-25 opponents which includes four in the top 10. He helped the Griffons open up the season 6-0 for the first time ever under Head Coach Jerry Partridge and the first time since 1981. He helped the Griffons win four road games against teams that were ranked in the top-25 which included against #7 Pittsburg STate (63-14), #15 Emporia State (57-28), #4 NW Missouri State (21-20) and #6 Henderson State (45-21). The Griffons have won nine or more games in a season for the seventh time in 10 years. Hill rushed for a career long 92 yard touchdown against William Jewell College and has had a rush of over 20 yards or more in 11 of the Griffons 13 gamess. Against ESU he had 183 yards in the first half and has rushed for over 180 yards six times and and has had over 200 all-purpose yards five times. He has helped lead the Griffons to a school-record 12 wins picking up their first playoff win in school history in a 57-55 win over Minnesota-Duluth in Spratt Stadium on Nov. 17. Hill has rushed for a school record 2,118 yards this season and is only the 7th player in MIAA History to go over 2,000 yards in a season.
For his career, Hill has played in 49 games with 29 starts at running back for the Griffons and holds career records for rushing yards (4,919), all-purpose yards (5,783), most carries (913), most rushing touchdowns (35) and most 100-yard rushing games (20). He holds the Griffons single season record for most points scored (114), most touchdowns scored (19), tied for the most rushing attempts (296), most yards gained rushing (2,118), highest average per carry (7.2), highest rushing average per game (162.3), most 100-yard rushing games (12) and most all-purpose yards (2,320). He is close to breaking the career mark for most points in a career (278 – he has 264) and career touchdowns scored (46 – he has 44). He is close to breaking the single season mark for rushing touchdowns in a season (17 – he has 16). Currently Hill is 6th all-time in career rushing in the MIAA (4,919) and 6th in MIAA single season rushing with (2,118).
Hill has helped the Griffons break the school record for highest average per rush in a game averaging 9.7 against William Jewell which broke the old mark of 7.8…has helped the Griffons average 278.4 yards per game which would be a team record…the old record is 269.5 which was set in 1989…has helped the Griffon offense set records for Most Points Scored (572), Highest Scoring Average (44.0), Most Touchdown Scored (77), Most First Downs (305), Most Yards Gained (6,177), Most Yards Total Offense Per Game (475.2), Most Yards Gained Rushing (3,911), Most Rushing Yards Net (3,619), Most Rushing Yards Gained Per Game (278.4), Highest Rushing Average Per Carry (6.3) and Highest Completion Percentage in a Season (66-percent)….the Griffons have won nine or more games in seven of the last 10 seasons…the 12 victories is a single season record…helped the Griffons to three NCAA Division II Playoff Appearances and a Mineral Water Bowl appearance.
Hill is the first Griffon to be in the top-3 for the Harlon Hill. In 1995 John Fisher (RB) was in the top 8 and finished 7th in the voting. Tarren Adams (WR) and Drew Newhart (QB) were candidates in 1992 and 2009 respectively.
The Griffons will play in the Super Region 3 Final on Saturday, December 1 in Mankato, Minn. against the Minnestoa State-Mankato Mavericks. Game time is set for 12:00 pm.