STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton running back Xavier Turner is enjoying one of the greatest seasons in Texan Football history and has his name among the nation’s 37 initial nominees for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s Division II Player of the Year.
The sports information directors at the 166 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions nominate and vote on the award. The 37 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 Monday, Nov. 26.
The winner of the 2018 award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 14 and the winner will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club awards banquet on Jan. 10, 2019.
Despite being limited early in the season due to injury, Turner has bounced back to put an exclamation point on one of the most dominant rushing seasons in program history.
The senior from North Richland Hills became only the sixth player in program history to rush for over 1,000 yards in the regular season. He is currently in the midst of a streak of seven consecutive 100-yard rushing performances – which includes 200-yard rushing efforts against AFCA-ranked No. 10 MSU Texas (214) and No. 24 Azusa Pacific (206). Turner has also found the end zone in eight consecutive games, including three straight games of three rushing scores. His 21 touchdowns this season has him one shy of the single-season record held by Derrick Ross in 2004 (22).
On the season, Turner has rushed 177 times for 1,306 yards and 21 touchdowns with a long run of 66 yards. His 1,306 rushing yards is the third-most in a single season by a Tarleton player, behind only Ross.
Turner and the Texans will be back in action on Saturday for a rematch with Lone Star Conference rival, Texas A&M-Commerce in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at TarletonSports.com/Tickets.