Courtesy of the CIAA
Virginia Union University’s Jada Byers has become the first VUU football player in the program’s history to be named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, it was announced on Thursday, December 1.
Byers led the nation by rushing for a CIAA-record 1,829 yards and gathering nation-best 2,256 all purpose yards this past season.
The Little Rock Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Great American Conference, revealed the nine finalists for the 2022 Harlon Hill Trophy, the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
The NCAA Division II sports information directors selected the finalists through a round of regional voting.
The nine finalists will now be placed on the national ballot where all 178 of the division’s school and conference SIDs will select the award’s 36th winner.
“Proud is an understatement at this point, Jada deserves every accolade he has received,” said VUU Head Football Coach Dr. Alvin Parker. “The end of the year awards signify the accomplishments we have made as a program. Jada is a big part of our program, and he models what it is to be a student-athlete at VUU. This is not only huge for Virginia Union but for the whole HBCU community.”
The winner of the 2022 award will be announced on Friday, December 16, and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Friday, January 13, 2023.
The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill – the former University of North Alabama standout – who excelled with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.