Beschorner, a senior from Lohrville, IA, along with junior quarterback Jimmy Terwilliger of East Stroudsburg State and sophomore Jamar Brittingham of Bloomsburg University, have received invitations to attend the 20th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Dec. 9 in Florence, AL.
The trio emerged as the top three vote-getters from a field of eight national finalists in voting by the sports information directors at the 149 schools that compete in Division II football and the Division II conference sports information directors.
"It feels really good to be recognized and considered for this award," said Beschorner, who directed the nation's most prolific offense. The Coyotes averaged a nation-best 583.3 yards in total offense per game and averaged 49.7 points by scoring a school-record 547 points in 2005.
"I didn't expect this," he said. "I have to thank everyone around me, including my coaches and teammates. Without them, none of this would have been possible. It has been a special year, especially winning an NCC title."
Beschorner, who tied or 29 set school records in 2005, turned in one of best seasons ever by quarterback in South Dakota or North Central Conference history. Beschorner, who was named the North Central Conference Back of the Year for 2005, led the nation in pass efficiency at 215.2, becoming just the second quarterback ever in Division II to record at least a 215 rating or better (Curt Anes, 221.3, 2001, Grand Valley State). He had a 9.75 TD to interception ration (39 TDs to four interceptions).
"This is a well-deserved and great honor for Wesley (Beschorner) to be chosen as one of the top three players in the country," said South Dakota head football coach Ed Meierkort. "I can't think of a better person to represent the University than Wesley. He has shown great leadership qualities on and off the field plus he is an outstanding football player. He had a great season and helped our program attain a lot of success."
The senior quarterback has earned national respect for his efforts this season. Bob Eblen of D2football.com said of Beschorner: "Beschorner is the best offensive player in the country this year."
At the end of the regular season, Beschorner had a nation-best 39 passing TDs and 47 combined TDs for the nationally ranked South Dakota football team that finished 9-2 and has been ranked in the top 25 the entire season (USD was ranked eighth in the D2football.com poll and 11th in the AFCA poll at the end of the regular season).
Beschorner, who has led USD to an 18-4 record in the past two seasons, ranks fifth in the nation in total offense (318.2 yards per game) and his per play average of 10.22 yards set a Division II record (Curt Anes, Grand Valley State, 10.1 yards per play, 2001).
Beschorner is the first USD football player to be one of the top-three votegetters for the Harlon Hill Trophy Award. Originally, Beschorner was a wide receiver and punt returner but won the starting quarterback job as a sophomore.
He completed 172 of 255 passes for 3,049 yards in 2005. He finished
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with a completion rate of 67.5 percent and scored at least two TDs (rush or pass) in all 11 games this season. Beschorner, who rushed for 451 yards, had six games with four or more TD passes and three games with five or more TD passes in 2005. He had three games with a combined six TDs and had a game with a school-record seven combined TDs. A big play specialist, he had both a 79-yard run and a 90-yard TD pass. He also owns two 100-yard rush games this season. Beschorner leaves USD as its career total offense leader with 7,476 yards on 967 plays for a 7.3 average, all school records. This season, he had a school-record 3,500 yards on 343 plays in total offense.
He also became USD's all-time passing leader with 6,240 yards. A three-year starter, he accumulated 87 overall TDs, including 64 by passing. He has also directed USD to a 13-game home winning streak, including 6-0 marks at the DakotaDome during each of the last two seasons.
The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored by Coca-Cola, the City of Florence, AL, Trustmark Construction, TNT Fireworks and the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa. Candidates for the 2005 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 to no more than six per region.
The winner of the 2005 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, Dec. 9 in Florence, prior to the NCAA Division II Football Championship Game on Dec. 10. Tickets are $45 each or $360 for a table of eight and can be purchased by calling the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at (256) 764-4661.