(FLORENCE, Al.) After a record-setting senior season at Missouri Western, running back Michael Hill has one more shot at making Griffon history Friday evening.
Hill is one of three finalists, along with Bloomsburg junior running back Franklin Quiteh and Shippensburg junior quarterback Zach Zulli, still chasing the Harlon Hill Trophy.
"With all the players in Division II, about 100 players on each team," Hill said, "to narrow it down to three, it's such a blessing to be here."
And the Harlon Hill Award Committee has shown that they are happy to have the athletes in Florence.
Each player has a host that escorts them to interviews, sites around the city and makes sure that their stay leading up to Friday's ceremony is perfect.
"The entire time that we've been here, they've been showing us around and its been awesome," Hill said.
It also helps take the edge off knowing your competition. The three student-athletes vying for the trophy that goes to D-II's best football player have bonded since arriving on Wednesday.
"When I got here, I met these two other finalists. Those guys are awesome, too. We already have a tight relationship."
All three have earned the right to be in Florence with a chance to bring home the trophy.
Hill led the nation in rushing with 2,168 yards, a new record at Missouri Western, Quiteh's 25 all-purpose touchdowns is more than any other back in the country, and Zulli's 4,747 passing yards and 54 scores leads all quarterbacks.
The Western running back knows how good the competition is, and he refuses to let Friday's results affect his attitude either way.
"These guys worked their butts off too. If it goes another way I'll be happy, and I'll be happy for them," Hill said. "It makes it easier because now I got to know these guys and I know their personality, and they deserve it just as much as I do."
The Harlon Hill Trophy ceremony is Friday at 7:30pm.
You can view the Trophy Presentation live at this link: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/una.portal#