LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In what seems to be a daily occurrence, Urbana University senior D’Gary Wallace of Dayton has climbed another awards list. The linebacker has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Cliff Harris Award, announced Thursday by sponsors Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright, Lindsey, & Jennings LLP.
The Cliff Harris Award is presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from nearly 500 institutions across NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA.
Wallace, a second-team all-American, is listed as one of 63 finalists for the award after an initial ballot containing 103 nominees was released a few weeks ago. Wallace is UU’s all-time tackles leader and holder of five Blue Knight career records. This season, he led all of Division II in solo tackles (91) and finished two defensive stops away from leading the nation in total tackles.
An overall winner will be announced on Dec. 24 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet in February 2016. The winner receives the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy presented by Cliff Harris.
In addition, the top vote getters from each division will also be announced.
The inaugural winner of the award was current Cleveland Browns cornerback Pierre Desir (Lindenwood University), who was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Last year, Colorado State-Pueblo defensive end Darius Allen received the award.
2015 Super Bowl hero Malcom Butler of the New England Patriots was a Cliff Harris Award finalist in 2013.
For the story of Cliff Harris, go to www.CliffHarrisAward.com, and read about his amazing journey from an overlooked high school player from Des Arc, Ark., and one scholarship offer to then-NAIA Quachita Baptist University to five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.