LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For the second-straight season, Valdosta State junior quarterback Rogan Wells was named a finalist for the prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy Award, which goes to the absolute best college football player in NCAA Division II.
The NCAA Division II sports information directors selected the finalist through a round of regional voting. The eight finalists now will be placed on the national ballot where all 184 of the division's school and conference SIDs will select the award's 34th winner. The top two players from the four Super Regions advanced to the national ballot. Including Wells, the finalists are comprised of three quarterbacks, three running backs, one wide receiver and one defensive end.
Notre Dame College (Ohio) sophomore running back Jaleel McLaughlin and Wells are the only two who were finalists last season as Wells finished national runner-up to Ferris State's Jayru Campbell. Wells and Blazers downed Ferris State 49-47 in a thrilling national championship game in 2018 in McKinney, Texas. Wells was named National Championship Most Valuable Player. McLaughlin finished third last season in the Harlon Hill voting.
The winner of the 2019 award will be announced Friday, Dec. 20, and the winner will then be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on January 9, 2020. The Harlon 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.
Since its inception, VSU has had two winners of the Harlon Hill and two who finished runner-up, including Wells. Former Blazer Chris Hatcher won the prestigious honor in 1994, while Dusty Bonner won back-to-back in 2000 and 2001. Lance Funderburk was the 1996 runner-up.
Wells, a native of Fort Mill, S.C., was named First Team AFCA All-America (American Football Coaches Association) Tuesday and was named the Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year, along with first team all-conference honors.
He helped guide the Blazers to a 10-1 record this season and a 28-3 record as a starter for the red and black in his three years in Titletown thus far. In 2019, he continued his onslaught of the school and conference record books as he is eighth all-time in school history in rushing yards (1,932), fifth in rushing touchdowns (25), sixth in career completions (543), third in passing touchdowns (69) and second all-time in school history in total offense with 9,062 yards. He is tied for eighth all-time in GSC history in passing touchdowns and ninth in total offense, while his 88.5 completion percentage this season at Albany State is tenth all-time in GSC history and his 71.7 completion percentage for the season (213 of 297) is good for fourth in the GSC currently, while it is fourth nationally for 2019.
This season he is 13th nationally in passing efficiency at 165.08, 23rd in completions per game at 19.00 and 17th in yards per pass attempt at 8.74 to lead the conference in each category. He is third in the league in passing yards (2,650) for 41st nationally, while ranking second in the conference in passing yards per game at a 241.0 clip for 33rd nationally. Wells is second in the league and 38th nationally in points responsible for with 144. He is third in the league in rushing yards (680) and third in rushing yards per game (68.0). Wells is ninth nationally and leads the conference in total offense at 299.5 yards per game. He is 213 of 297 passing with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year, while recording 85 carries for 702 yards and six touchdowns.