Davis and McKeller Finalist For 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy

12/1/2021 12:00:00 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Nebraska Kearney’s TJ Davis and Northwest Missouri’s Al McKeller are two of eight finalists for the 2021 Harlon Hill Trophy, the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year Award.
The prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill – the former University of North Alabama standout – who excelled with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.
NCAA Division II sports information directors (SIDs) selected the finalists through a round of regional voting. The eight finalist will now be placed on the on the national ballot where all 167 Division II football-playing institutions and conference SIDs will select the award’s 35th winner. The top two players from the four Super Regions advanced to the national ballot. Four quarterbacks, three running backs and one wide receiver comprised the list of 2021 finalists.
TJ Davis, the 2021 MIAA Offensive Player of the Year, had a memorable season leading the Lopers to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the first time in a decade. Nebraska Kearney’s redshirt junior quarterback currently ranks second in pass efficiency among Division II quarterbacks at 183.3. He’s had his had in 40 touchdowns (21 passing, 18 rushing and one receiving). Davis has thrown for 2,320 yards and is also the Lopers leading rusher with 1,151 rushing yards. His 18 rushing touchdowns ties for sixth in Division II.
Nebraska Kearney’s 10-3 season ended in the second-round of the NCAA Playoffs in a 20-7 loss to San Angelo.
This is Al McKeller’s second time being nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy. Northwest’s senior running back was also nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2018 at the University of Indianapolis. McKeller is currently the Division II’s active career leader in all-purpose yards with 5,500. He also ranks second among active career leaders in rushing yards (5,085).
McKeller has produced eight 100-yard rushing performances this season and has tallied 24 100-yard rushing games in his collegiate career. He currently ranks fifth in the nation with 1,527 total rushing yards this and seventh with 127.2 rushing yards per game. McKeller’s 18 rushing touchdowns this season ties with UNK’s Davis’ to rank sixth in Division II.
McKeller joins three of the eight finalist in competing in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinal matchups this weekend. The No. 3 Bearcats travel to Big Rapids, Mich. to take on No. 1 Ferris State.
The winner of the 2021 award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 17. The winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Jan. 13, 2022.