Central Arkansas senior quarterback Hayden Hildebrand, a former Airline star, is the 2017 Southland Conference Football Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday along with the all-conference selections. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.
Hildebrand, a 2013 graduate of Airline, is one of five individual superlative honorees from this season’s UCA team. Head coach Steve Campbell was named Coach of the Year, senior defensive back George Odum was named Defensive Player of the Year, running back Kierre Crossley earned Freshman of the Year honors and junior John Cook was voted Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Hildebrand finished the regular season as the most efficient passer in the nation at 181.3 and was 15th in the nation in passing yards (2,768). Hildebrand threw 27 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions. He is now second in career passing yards at UCA, as well as pass completions (560), pass attempts (887) and total offense (7,988).
Central Arkansas (10-1) won the SLC with a 9-0 record. The Bears earned their first national in the FCS playoffs at No. 4. Central Arkansas received a first-round bye and will host the winner of the first-round matchup between New Hampshire and Central Connecticut State at 2 p.m. on Dec. 2 at First Security Field at Estes Stadium.
Hildebrand started three years for Airline from 2010-12. In 2012, the Vikings went 10-3 and earned a share of the District 1-5A championship.
— Staff Reports, firstname.lastname@example.org