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Cliff Harris Award release | December 20, 2017

Cliff Harris finalists for best defensive player in DII football announced

  Marcus Martin, who became the NCAA's all-time sack leader in 2017, is a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright Lindsey Jennings announced the finalists for the fifth annual Cliff Harris Award. The award is presented to the nation's top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities.

An overall winner will be announced on December 23 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on January 11, 2018 featuring guest speaker Marcus Allen. The winner will receive the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy presented by Cliff Harris. In addition to the overall winner, the top vote getters from each division will also be announced. A prestigious group of former college and pro football greats serve on the Cliff Harris Award Committee.

For the story of Cliff Harris go to and read about his amazing journey from overlooked high school player from tiny Des Arc, Arkansas, and one scholarship offer to then-NAIA Ouachita Baptist University to five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.

Division II Finalists

Player Name Class College Position
Andrew Benson SR Assumption College DB
Adonis Davis JR Florida Tech DL
Dennis Gardeck SR Sioux Falls LB
Sterling Hammond SR Virginia Union DB
Kevin Haynes SR Central Washington University LB
Myle Humphrey SR Shepherd University DL
Chris Johnson JR University of North Alabama DB
Marcus Jones SR NW Missouri State DB
Markus Jones JR Angelo State DL
Kyle Kitchens SR Catawba LB
Davondrick Lison JR Southern Arkansas University DL
Tevin Madison SR West Alabama DB
Marcus Martin SR Slippery Rock University DL
Tyler Morrissey JR West Chester LB
Blake Nelson SR Colorado Mesa DB
Brandon Payer SO Colorado State-Pueblo LB
Evan Perrizo SR Minnesota State University, Mankato DL
James Prater Jr. JR Ashland University DL
Max Redfield SR Indiana University (Pa) DB
Brucks Saathoff JR Texas A&M-Commerce LB
Terry Samuel JR West Alabama LB
Nathan Shepherd SR Fort Hays State University DL
Zach Sieler JR Ferris State University DL
Andrew Spencer SR Winona State DB
Yusef Sterling-Lowe SR Texas A&M-Commerce DB
Tavierre Thomas SR Ferris State DB
Osband Thompson SR Tuskegee LB
Landry Tullo SR Delta State University LB
Austin Weltha SR McKendree University LB
Darius Williams JR Colorado State University-Pueblo DB

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