FLORENCE, Ala. --- Tusculum College quarterback
Corey Russell finished sixth in the final voting
for the 2008 Harlon Hill Trophy, which recognizes the NCAA Division
II Football Player of the Year. Abilene Christian running back
Bernard Scott is this year's winner.
The award winner is determined in voting by the Division II sports information directors and was presented in front of a crowd of 400 at the 23rd annual Harlon Hill Trophy award banquet at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Ala.
Scott won in a landslide with 253 total points, including 66 first place votes. North Alabama quarterback A.J. Milwee and Mike Reilly of Central Washington tied for second with 85 points each. Minnesota-Duluth's Ted Schlafke was fourth with 41 points, followed by Brad Iciek (Grand Valley State, 39 pts.), Russell (36 pts.), Michael Washington (West Chester, 25 pts.) and Trevor Harris (Edinboro, 18 pts.).
Russell, a 6-4, 190-pound senior from Speedwell, Tenn., smashed the record books in the finest season ever posted by a Pioneer signal caller as he was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America Second Team. The 2008 South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Daktronics Region Player of the Year peppered his name throughout the Tusculum, SAC and NCAA II record books.
Russell established 15 Tusculum records this season, including a pair of NCAA Division II bests. He recorded 300 or more total offensive yards on 11 occasions this season, which were the best in DII history. He recorded 674 total offensive plays, which are a new NCAA II record. The All-SAC First Team signal caller established league single-season records in total offensive yards (4907), passing yards (4097) and touchdown passes (37). He also set TC season records for completions (301) and pass attempts (505).
Russell caps one of the most successful careers in Division II history. His 11,315 total offensive yards are the most ever by a Pioneer, second in SAC history and ninth in NCAA II history. The Cumberland Gap High School graduate also set career marks in pass attempts (1382), completions (773), passing yards (9887), TD passes (82), touchdowns accounted for (103), interceptions (49) and total offensive attempts (1853). He also becomes the first Tusculum quarterback to earn NCAA II All-American and All-Region honors.
The Pioneers posted a 9-4 record winning four of their last five outings to capture TC's second South Atlantic Conference title in five years. Tusculum also made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Playoffs, advancing to the Final 16.
Russell and former All-American cornerback Ricardo Colclough are the only two Tusculum players to advance to the Harlon Hill Trophy national ballot. Colclough finished fifth in the national voting in 2003.
Russell is also the seventh player in South Atlantic Conference history to advance as a national finalist. Lenoir-Rhyne running back Leonard Davis was one of the final eight in 1994. Running back Tyrone Westmoreland of Carson-Newman was a finalist for the award in 1997 as was Wingate's Tracy Bowen. Presbyterian College quarterback Todd Cunningham was amongst the final eight in 1999 and again in 2001. C-N signal caller Leonard Guyton was a finalist in 2002, while Colclough advanced a year later.
- TC -
2008 Harlon Hill Trophy Voting Results
Pl. Player, School (1st place votes) Pts.