Beschorner is candidate for Harlon Hill Trophy

Beschorner is candidate for Harlon Hill Trophy
Wesley Beschorner, a senior quarterback on the eighth-ranked South Dakota football team (8-2), is among the 26 candidates in the running for the 2005 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year, according to an announcement released on Monday by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee.

The list of candidates includes six players each from the Southeast, Northeast and Northwest regions and eight from the Southwest region.

Sports Information Directors at the 150 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions nominate and vote on the Harlon Hill Trophy candidates. The 26 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 Nov. 14.

The winner of the 2005 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 20th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Florence (AL) Conference Center at 6:30 p.m.

This year's Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the seventh induction into the Division II Football Hall of Fame. Tickets are $45 each or $360 for a table of eight and can be purchased calling the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at (256) 764-4661. The NCAA Division II Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 10 at Florence's Braly Municipal Stadium at 3 p.m. The Hill Trophy is sponsored by Coca-Cola, the City of Florence, AL, Trustmark Construction, TNT Fireworks and the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.

A total of 36 candidates 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 to 26.

Beschorner, a three-year starter at USD, has set 17 Coyote school records, including career total offense, season total offense, season passing yards and season and career TDs. The senior quarterback has directed the nation's most productive offense, which has averaged 585.8 yards in total offense per game while scoring at 50.5 points per game clip. Beschorner leads the nation in passing efficiency at 215.75 and TD passes (34) while owning an incredible 8.5 passing TDs to interception ratio (34 TDs, four interceptions). Beschorner has completed 115-of-226 passes for 2,719 yards this season. He has completed 68.2 percent of his pass attempts and is averaging 271.9 passing yards each game.

Beschorner became USD's all-time single season passing leader against Augustana four weeks ago. Beschorner, who leads the NCC in pass efficiency, passing yards, TDs and total offense, threw four or more TDs in each of his first five games this season and set a school record with six TD passes against Upper Iowa on Oct. 22. He now has a school record 3,051 yards in total offense on 299 plays or 10.2 yards per play and 305.1 yards per game this season.

Beschorner's season total offense mark is nearly 1,000 yards more than his school record of 2,126 a year ago. Beschorner has amassed 5,891 yards (398 comp., 644 att., 5,891 passing yards, 59 TDs), which places him second on USD's career passing chart.

He trails only former Coyote standout Ryan Justice, who had 5,924 yards from 1999-02. Beschorner, who has 70 career combined TDs, needs 14 yards passing to take over the career passing lead at USD. Beschorner also has 332 yards rushing on 73 carries with seven TDs. As the career offense leader at USD, he has accumulated 7,027 yards on 923 plays or 7.6 yards per play.

He is the only player in school history with over 5,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. Beschorner has rushed for 1,017 yards on 279 carries with 21 rushing TDs in his career.

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