---- — By The Daily Item
BLOOMSBURG -- For the second straight season Bloomsburg University running back Franklyn Quiteh has been named one of the top three vote-getters for the Harlon Hill Award as the nation's top Division II football player. He received an invitation to the 28th annual trophy presentation on Dec. 20 in Florence, Ala.
Joining Quiteh as finalists are West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughn and Henderson State quarterback Kevin Rodgers.
The three players emerged from a field of nine players in voting by the sports information directors at the 169 schools that compete in Division II football.
Quiteh finished 2013 as the leading rusher in NCAA Division II with a career-high 2,195 yards (tops in all of college football this season) on 263 carries while scoring 31 total TDs. His 182.9 yards per game was also tops among Division II players, along with his 29 rushing touchdowns and 15.7 points per game.
During the season he had six games with 200 or more yards rushing and 10 games with more than two touchdowns scored. Quiteh, the 2013 PSAC East Offensive Player of the Year and the Daktronics Super Region One Offensive Player of the Year, became the first player ever in D-II history to top 2,000 yards rushing in a season three times in a career.
In addition he finished as the second all-time leading rusher in Division II history and fourth best among all divisions with 7,523 yards. For his career he owns a combined 20 school, PSAC and NCAA records.
Quiteh was a big-play runner through his career and had 48 carries this season in which he gained more than 10 yards, 14 gains of more than 30 yards, and seven rushes over 50 yards, including a career-long 82-yard run against Slippery Rock. He set a school record with 304 yard rushing against East Stroudsburg.
He helped the Huskies to a 10-2 mark in 2013 with the team winning the PSAC Championship and earning a bye to the second round of the NCAA playoffs.
Rodgers, from Rockwall, Texas, finished sixth in the 2012 Hill Trophy voting. This season he completed 322 of 467 passes for 4,807 yards and 40 touchdowns while leading Henderson State to an 11-1 record and into the Division II playoffs. Rodgers ranks first in Division II in passing yards per game (400.6) and total offense (399.3) and is second nationally in total passing yards (480.7), third in passing touchdowns (40), and sixth in points responsible for (254). He is just the sixth quarterback in Division II history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Over his three seasons at Henderson State he has thrown for 10,079 yards and 90 touchdowns.
Vaughan, from Corpus Christi, Texas, finished fourth in the 2012 Hill Trophy voting. This season he completed 447 of 675 passes for 5,401 yards and 53 touchdowns this fall. He led West Texas A&M to an 11-3 record and into the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. He leads Division II in total passing yards (5,401), passing touchdowns (53) and points responsible for (326). He is second in passing yards per game (385.8), second in completions per game (31.9) and third in total offense (399.3). In three seasons at West Texas A&M, Vaughan has thrown for 13,525 yards and 123 touchdowns.
The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones
Candidates for the 2013 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.