ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (Henderson State) Henderson State's Kevin Rodgers is one of three players to receive an invitation to attend the 28th Annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet for the naming of the top NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
Joining Rodgers are senior running back Franklyn Quiteh of Bloomsburg University (Pa.) and senior quarterback Dustin Vaughan of West Texas A&M University.
The three emerged as the top vote-getters from a field of nine finalists in voting by the sports information directors at the 169 schools that compete in Division II football.
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.
Rodgers, who is the first player in Henderson State history to be invited to the Harlon Hill Banquet, was a unanimous selection as the Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight year and was recently named the Daktronics Super Region 3 Offensive Player of the Year.
The Reddie signal caller led the nation in passing yards per game at 400.6, total offense (399.5), third in touchdowns (40) and fourth in efficiency (178.64).
This season Rodgers completed 322-of-467 passes for 4,807 yards (8th most in D2 history) and 40 touchdowns. He is the sixth quarterback in Division II history to throw for 4,000 or more yards in back-to-back seasons.
The two-time First-Team All-GAC selection has thrown for over 300 yards 10 times, 400 yards five times and 500 yards twice this season.
In HSU's playoff game against St. Cloud State, Rodgers completed 42-of-51 passes for 567 yards and four touchdowns.
The 2012-13 GAC Male Athlete of the Year, has been named GAC Offensive Player of the Week 12 times and a National Player of the Week pick six times.
Rodgers has played in 30 games the last three years, having completed 727of 1089 passes (67 percent) for 10,079 yards (336.0 yards per game) and 90 touchdowns. He has thrown for 300 yards or more 19 times, 400 yards or more 9 times and 500 yards or more 4 times.
Rodgers has a 25-3 record as Henderson's starting quarterback. He holds the HSU single-season and career records for yards passing, touchdowns, completion percentage, and pass efficiency.
He helped lead Henderson State to two GAC Championships, back-to-back undefeated regular-seasons and is the only quarterback in Reddie history to throw for 4,000 or more yards in back-to-back seasons.
Rodgers is also one of only three players from Division II to be chosen to the AllState/AFCA Good Works Team that recognizes the "good works" of football players from across the country. The award pays tribute to the positive impact that student-athletes have had on their communities and the lives of others.
Rodgers, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance on December 13. He will begin graduate school at Henderson State next semester. A seven-time member on the Dean's List, he is a two-time member of the Academic All-GAC Honor Roll. Rodgers was the recipient of the HSU 2013 Summit Bank Outstanding Banking Award.
The Rockwall, Texas native is an active member in HSU's Baptist Collegiate Ministries and has been on several mission trips. He has traveled throughout the south lending a helping hand to those in need.
Rodgers has served as a mentor for freshmen at the BSM and leads a youth group. He has taken part in REDDIE TO SERVE, a community clean-up program; REDDIE TO READ, a reading program in the Arkadelphia public schools; REDDIE TO HELP, a winter wonderland project which provides a terminally ill youngster a special Christmas; and REDDIE TO TEACH, having assisted at Arkadelphia Sports Clinics.
Rodgers also participates each year in the Reddie Football Blood Drive. He assists at the local humane society cleaning pens, as well as washing, feeding and walking the animals. Rodgers has also assisted with the building of playgrounds at local schools and community centers.
Quiteh, from Tobyhanna, Pa., is a three-time Hill Trophy finalist and finished third in 2012. This season he leads Division II in rushing yards (2,195), rushing yards per game (182.9), rushing touchdowns (29) and scoring (15.7). He led Bloomsburg to 10-2 record and to the second round of the Division II Playoffs. He is the first player in Division II history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season three times in his career and he also broke the Division II record for most game with more than 100 yards rushing with 42. Quiteh finished his career as the second leading rusher in Division II history with 7,523.
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 winner of the 2013 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 20 in Florence, prior to the NCAA Division II Football Championship Game on Dec. 21. Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight and can be purchased by calling Judy Keenum at the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at (256) 764-4661.