Ferris State's Jayru Campbell (Cass Tech) wins Harlon Hill Trophy

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Ferris State quarterback Jayru Campbell has completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,832 yards and 26 touchdowns. He's also the team's leading rusher with 1,338 yards.

It might not mean much to him.

But Jayru Campbell's Ferris State teammates and coaches were plenty excited to watch the Harlon Hill Trophy announcement Friday, when Campbell, the former Detroit Cass Tech star, was named the winner of what's considered the Heisman of Division II.

Campbell becomes the second Ferris State player to win the award, after fellow quarterback Jason Vander Laan won in 2014 and 2015.

"Our quarterback is so focused, I mentioned to him, you know, that we'd like to have a watch party," Ferris State coach Tony Annese said earlier this week.

"And he looked at me like I was crazy, 'Coach, we're not doing that.'

"He's all about just winning. He's not about personal accolades."

More: Jayru Campbell makes most of second chance, fuels Ferris State's title run

Yet, the accolades keep on piling up for Campbell, in his first season playing at Ferris, after a long, winding road took from a troubled tenure at Detroit Cass to a community college in Kansas, to, eventually Big Rapids.

And Annese, by the way, won out, with a watch party at the team hotel Friday.

He was named first-team AP All-America earlier this week, and he was the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year. For the season, he leads Division II quarterbacks with 1,138 rushing yards, and he's thrown for 2,832 yards and 26 touchdowns, to just five interceptions.

All told, he has accounted for 47 touchdowns for the Bulldogs (15-0), who play Valdosta State (13-0) of Georgia in Saturday's national-championship game in McKinney, Texas.

Campbell will be presented the Harlon Hill at a banquet in Little Rock, Ark., on Jan. 10.

Also a finalist was Hillsdale senior quarterback Chance Stewart, after throwing for 3,588 yards and 28 touchdowns (eight picks) while leading his team to the Division II playoffs.

Other Harlon Hill winners from the state: Wayne State running back Joique Bell in 2009 Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002. It's been handed out since 1986.

Division II championship game


Kickoff: 4 Saturday, McKinney Independent School District Stadium, McKinney, Texas

Records: Ferris State 15-0; Valdosta State 13-0



Twitter: @tonypaul1984