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Gardner 7th in voting for Hill Trophy
JaQuan Gardner

Central Valley High School grad/Humboldt State senior running back Ja'Quan Gardner finished seventh in voting for the 2017 Harlon Hill Trophy.

The announcement was made on Dec. 14.

The award recognizes the top NCAA Division-II College Football Player.

One of 10 finalists for the Harlon Hill Trophy, Gardner received three first-place votes on his way to totaling 24 points.

"I have no complaints at all," said Ja'Quan, who finished second in voting for the prestigious award in 2015. "I didn't expect to be a finalist this year. Just being nominated is a big honor. To be considered one of the top players in the country shows the hard work I put in. My teammates and coaches believed in me."

Gardner was named a Second Team Associated Press and First Team Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-American on Dec. 13.

A three-time D2CCA All-American, Ja'Quan was voted 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Gardner was named to the CCA All-Region First Team on Dec. 1.

Ja'Quan led the Lumberjacks to an 8-2 overall record this fall.

Gardner, Humboldt State's all-time rushing leader, gained 1,259 yards and scored 19 touchdowns on 203 carries.

He became the GNAC's all-time leader in career touchdowns scored (75), points scored (450), all-purpose yards (6,979), all-purpose yards per game (170.2), rushing attempts (878), rushing yards (5,426) and rushing touchdowns (70).

Ja'Quan set conference single-game marks with 446 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns, and tied another league record with five rushing TDs during Humboldt State's 52-49 Homecoming win over Azusa Pacific.

Gardner's performance earned him GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for a record-tying ninth time. "I have no regrets," Gardner said. "Going into college, I wanted to help the program. We were conference champs (in 2015). You can't take that away from us. We had a tremendous four years."