2019 Harlon Hill Award: DII Player of the Year


The Harlon Hill Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s best NCAA Division II football player.

The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill, a former University of North Alabama standout, who excelled with the UNA Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. He was the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1954 and winner of the Jim Thorpe Trophy as the NFL Player of the Year in 1955.



Roland Rivers, QB, Slippery Rock

Roland Rivers III became the 18th quarterback to win the award in 2019. He led Slippery Rock to the DII football championship semifinals, throwing for 4,460 yards with 52 touchdown passes and nine more on the ground. 

Rivers set the Division II record for points responsible for a season with 370. His 61 touchdowns accounted for tied the DII single-season record with 2016 Harlon Hill recipient Justin Dvorak, from Colorado School of Mines. His 52 touchdown passes led the country and ranked as the fourth-best total in DII history. He also led the nation in passing yards and total offense while ranking second in passing efficiency. With his 700 yards rushing, he produced just the fourth season of 5,000 yards of total offense in DII history.

Rivers III will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Thursday, January 9, 2020.


The 2019 Harlon Hill Award finalists included:

  • Slippery Rock – QB Roland Rivers, senior
  • Tarleton State – WR Zimari Manning, senior
  • Notre Dame College – Jaleel McLaughlin, sophomore


2018 Harlon Hill Award winner: Jayru Campbell, QB, Ferris State


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