Senior Jaquan Artis of Lenoir-Rhyne has been named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy given to the best player in Division II.
Artis, a defensive end who is 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, is the second L-R player to be named a finalist. In 1994, Leonard Davis was a finalist.
The Bears (13-0 for the first time) will play in the regional final of the Division II playoffs on Saturday in Hickory at 1 p.m. against West Florida.
Artis, who has 14.5 sacks this season, was named an AFCA Second Team All-American earlier this week and he was also the South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Artis has helped a defense that ranks seventh in the nation in scoring (15.5 a game) and eighth in rushing defense (81.3 a game).
Artis, who is from Kinston, is one of eight finalists for the award, which is voted on by sports information directors in Division II. The winner will be announced on Dec. 20.
The Hill Trophy is named for the late Harlon Hill, a former University of North Alabama standout, who excelled with the Lions from 1950-53 before playing for the Chicago Bears.