November 7, 2004
Albany--An Albany State University football player will compete for the 2004 Harlon Hill Trophy as the NCAA Division II College Football Player of the Year.
Walter Curry, a Golden Rams defensive lineman, is one of 26 candidates that were announced by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee Voting Coordinator Dee Corum.
A phenomenal defensive powerhouse and key anchor of the Golden Rams "Dirty Blue" defense, Curry has recorded 8.5 sacks for 77 yards, 56 tackles (33 solos) with 18.5 tackles for a loss of 123 yards during his senior campaign at Albany State. He also has 13 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.
He currently leads the SIAC in tackles for loss and is second in sacks. In four years as a Golden Ram, Curry has racked up 262 tackles (146 solos) with 92 tackles for a loss of 534 yards and 48.5 sacks for 406 yards. He has helped the Golden Rams to a number one ranking in the Southeast Region and number two ranking in the NCAA/AFCA Division II national football poll.
If Curry wins the award, he will be the second defensive player to receive the honor. Former North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon, who now plays with the Arizona Cardinals, won the 1995 Hill Trophy.
The list of candidates includes six players each from the Southeast and Northeast regions and seven from the Northeast and Southwest regions. Players are nominated and voted on by the sports information directors at the 150 NCAA Division II football-playing institutions.
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 November 15. Fort Valley State's senior halfback, Derrick Wimbush, is also a Southeast region candidate.
Other Southeast region candidates include senior quarterback Cory Allred of Arkansas-Monticello, senior wide receiver Ellis Debrow of Delta State, senior linebacker Chris Peavy of Shaw, and senior quarterback Luke Samples of Catawba. State.
The winner of the 2004 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced at the 19th annual Harlon Hill Trophy Presentation Banquet on Friday, Dec. 10, at the Florence Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. This year's Hill Trophy Banquet will also include the sixth induction into the Division II Football Hall of Fame.
The Hill Trophy is sponsored by Coca-Cola, the City of Florence, Ala., and Trustmark Construction. A total of 40 candidates were initially 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.
The Hill Trophy is named for former North Alabama player, Harlon Hill, who was a standout with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears. The trophy was first presented in 1986.
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