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FVSU's Wimbush makes top three for Harlon Hill Trophy

December 4, 2004

FLORENCE, Ala. -- The voting has concluded for the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year Award, and while the results of that voting won't be announced until December 10, three players have received invitations to attend the Nineteenth Annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet for the naming of the top player in Division II.
Derrick Wimbush

Senior quarterback Drew Beard of Southeastern Oklahoma State, senior quarterback Chad Friehauf of Colorado-Mines and senior running back Derrick Wimbush of Fort Valley State emerged as the top three vote-getters from a field of eight national finalists in voting by the sports information directors at the 150 schools that compete in Division II football and the Division II conference sports information directors.

The announcement was made by Harlon Hill Trophy Voting Coordinator Dee Corum. The Hill Trophy is sponsored by Coca-Cola, the City of Florence, Ala., and Trustmark Construction. Candidates for the 2004 Hill Trophy were nominated by the sports information directors at their respective schools and those nominations were then reviewed by the Hill Regional Advisory Committees, which trimmed the list of candidates to no more than six per region.

The winner of the 2004 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the Harlon Hill Trophy and Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, December 10 in Florence, prior to the NCAA Division II Football Championship Game on Dec. 11.

Other finalists for the 2004 award were senior quarterback Cory Allred of Arkansas-Monticello, senior quarterback Marc Eddy of Bentley, sophomore tailback Lee Marana of Michigan Tech, senior wide receiver Chris Samp of Winona State, and sophomore quarterback Jimmy Terwilliger of East Stroudsburg.

Wimbush, a senior from Mauk, Ga., is third in the nation in rushing with a 167.3-yard average and is fifth in scoring with 12.2 points per game. He rushed for 1,840 yards on 247 carries and averaged 7.4 yards per carry. He led the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards and was a five-time SIAC Offensive Player of the Week this season. He rushed for more than 100 yards in 13 consecutive games during his career at Fort Valley State. efficiency. Academically, he is a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award recipient.

Beard, a senior from Rush Springs, Okla., who was also a finalist in 2003, became the Lone Star Conference's all-time leader in career total offense with more than 9,400 yards. He is ranked among the Division II national leaders in total offense (sixth) and passing efficiency (10th) and is the only player ranked in the Lone Star Conference top 10 in both rushing and passing. He led SOSU to an 8-2 regular-season record and into the Division II playoffs.

Friehauf, a senior from Brush, Colorado, led the Colorado School of Mines to an 11-0 regular-season record and to a first-round playoff win over Midwestern State. He leads Division II in total offense, with 392.6 yards per game, and is second in passing efficiency with a 172.9 rating. He had a streak of 180 consecutive passes this season without an interception and completed 296 of 402 passes for 3,746 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2004. During his career, Friehauf has thrown for 9,440 yards and 81 touchdowns.

North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim won the initial Hill Trophy in 1986, followed by three-time winner - Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) running back Johnny Bailey - in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State receiver Ronnie West in 1991, Pittsburg State running back Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger Graham in 1993, Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994, North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon in 1995, Truman State running back Jarrett Anderson in 1996, Bloomsburg University running back Irvin Sigler in 1997, Emporia State running back Brian Shay in 1998, Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999, Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001, Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002 and North Alabama quarterback Will Hall in 2003.


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