Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Colo. Mines' Garcia named national finalist for Harlon Hill Trophy

GOLDEN, Colo. (Nov. 23, 2010) – Colorado School of Mines’ Clay Garcia has been selected as one of nine national finalists for the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year, as announced today by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.

The list includes the top two players from each of the four Super Regionals (three players from Super Regional Four Regional due to an unbreakable tie in voting).  Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 149 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions.  The top three finalists will be announced on Monday, December 6th.  The winner of the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 25th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Banquet on Friday, December 17th, at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, Ala.

This year’s Harlon Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the induction of the 12th class of the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame, with Ken Sparks, Mel Tjeerdsma and Bobby Wallace becoming the first coaches to be inducted.  Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight and can be purchased by calling the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at 256-764-4661.  The 2010 NCAA Division II Championship Game is scheduled to be played on Saturday, December 18th, at Florence’s Braly Municipal Stadium at 10:00 a.m. (CDT).

The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Herff-Jones, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, Opti-Net and Florence-Lauderdale Tourism.  A grand total of 31 candidates for the 2010 Harlon Hill Trophy were initially nominated by NCAA Division II sports information directors from across the country.  Those nominations were then reviewed by the Harlon Hill Regional Advisory Committees, who trimmed the list of candidates to 24.

A 6’0”, 200-lb. junior quarterback from Alamosa, Colo. (Alamosa High School), Garcia was a four-time RMAC Offensive Player of the Week selection this season.  Garcia garnered First Team All-RMAC and RMAC Football Academic Player of the Year accolades this year.  Garcia, a unanimous First Team Academic All-RMAC pick, also earned ESPN First Team Academic All-District recognition this fall.

Garcia (352-of-567 passing; 62.1%) led the RMAC in touchdown passes (39), passing yards per game (338.8) and total offense (337.7 yards per game) this fall.  Garcia, who is currently tied for first in the nation in touchdown passes, tied the CSM single-season record in that category in 2010.  Garcia led the RMAC and is currently ranked fourth in the nation in passing yards (4,066), as well.

A Boettcher Scholar since his arrival at CSM in the fall of 2007, Garcia earned recognition on the Academic All-RMAC Honor Roll in 2008 and 2009.  Garcia, who has qualified for the CSM Dean’s List during every semester of his collegiate career, earned the Academic Achievement Award from the NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Association during the 2008-09 school year, as well.

CSM (9-3 overall, 8-1 RMAC) qualified for the NCAA Division II football championships for the second time in program history in 2010.  The Orediggers, who had 18 players named to the 2010 All-RMAC Football Teams, were RMAC Co-Champions.  Garcia was selected as the RMAC Offensive Player of the Year, Marc Schiechl was selected as the RMAC Defensive Player of the Year and Bob Stitt was named RMAC Coach of the Year.  Schiechl is a nominee for the Gene Upshaw Award as the NCAA Division II Lineman of the Year.

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