FLORENCE, Ala. (Nov. 6) â€“ California University of Pennsylvania senior wide receiver AJ
Jackson (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Lehigh/Sequoias) was announced as a Super Regional One finalist on Friday for the 2009 Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
Joining Jackson as finalists in Super Regional One are junior quarterback Zach Amedro of West Liberty, senior wide receiver Michael Harris of Shippensburg, senior quarterback Trevor Harris of Edinboro, junior running back Alfonso Hoggard of Clarion and sophomore wide receiver Thomas Mayo of Concord (W.Va.).
Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 148 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions. The 24 initial candidates will be placed on regional ballots and the top two players from each of the four NCAA regions will advance to the national ballot when regional voting concludes on Friday, Nov. 13.
Jackson has helped lead the Vulcans to a No. 18 national ranking in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coachesâ€™ Poll after winning eight-straight games by an average score of nearly 40-19. The Vulcans have won a program-best, fifth-straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West title to earn a berth in the PSAC Championship tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 7, against No. 23 Shippensburg.
The 6-6 wide receiver from Florida leads the 16-team conference with 64 receptions and 12 receiving touchdowns. He also ranks second in the league with a career-high 894 receiving yards. Jackson has led the Vulcans in receptions in all 10 games this season and posted four 100-yard receiving games in 2009.
In only two seasons with the program, Jackson is among the school leaders with 22 career touchdowns. He has caught at least one touchdown in eight of 10 games this year, including a career-high three scores against both Gannon and IUP.
Jackson is the 12th different Cal U player named a candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy since 1987. The Vulcans lead all the PSAC teams with the 12 different standouts regionally qualifying for the Harlon Hill Trophy.
The winner of the 2009 award will be announced at the 24th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, Dec. 11, at the Florence Conference Center.
Last year, running back Bernard Scott of Abilene Christian (Texas) won the prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy before being selected in the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.