Rabb earns Harlon Hill Award nomination

MSU junior quarterback Layton Rabb was named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, the "Division II Heisman" / Source: KAUZ
MSU junior quarterback Layton Rabb was named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, the "Division II Heisman" / Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State's Layton Rabb was named as one of the final 34 candidates in the running for the 2017 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year as released Monday afternoon by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.

The list includes 10 nominees from Super Region 1, seven from Super Region 2, nine from Super Region 3 and eight from Super Region 4.

The junior quarterback from Llano keyed the Mustangs to their second perfect regular season and to the first postseason victory since 2006 with a 24-20 win over No. 18 Sioux Falls (S.D.) last weekend.

Rabb leads a potent offensive attack which ranks sixth in NCAA Division II rolling up 503.1 yards per game and the 10th-best passing game in the county at 312.8 yards per game.

The 6-5, 225-pounder threw for 300 yards four times this season including the best single game in program history passing for 434 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-42 overtime victory against Tarleton State.

Rabb amassed 393 passing yards while matching another program single-game mark with six touchdowns in clinching an outright Lone Star Conference title with a 56-43 win over Eastern New Mexico.

For the season, Rabb has thrown for 2,849 yards on 209-of-325 passing (64.3 percent) with 28 touchdowns to just four interceptions to rank 10th in NCAA Division II with a 163.9 pass efficiency rating.

Rabb also shines in the classroom earning Lone Star Conference All-Academic Team honors boasting a 3.76 grade-point average as an accounting major.

Despite leading the Mustangs to an undisputed LSC championship, he was placed on the all-league second team as voted by the league's coaches. Rabb was a three-time LSC Offensive Player of the Week.

Other players from Super Region 4 receiving consideration for the Harlon Hill Trophy include senior linebacker Dennis Gardeck of Sioux Falls, senior running back Ja'Quan Gardner of Humboldt State, junior wide receiver Chad Hovasse of Adams State, sophomore running back Cameron Mayberry of Colorado School of Mines, senior quarterback Luis Perez of Texas A&M-Commerce, senior wide receiver Paul Revis of Western Oregon and sophomore wide receiver Shane Zylstra of Minnesota State.

Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 169 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 34 initial candidates will be placed on regional ballots and the top two players from each of the four NCAA regions will advance to the national ballot when regional voting concludes on Nov. 27.

The winner of the 2017 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 32nd annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, Dec. 15 via a webcast and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 5, 2018.

The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., the University of North Alabama, Herff Jones and the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.

Candidates are initially nominated by the sports information directors at their respective schools and are then voted on the by SIDs in those Super Regions. The winner is then determined in a nationwide vote of the Division II sports information directors.

The group of 34 candidates includes 13 running backs, 12 quarterbacks, four receivers and five defenders. There are 17 seniors nominated and 17 underclassmen.

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