Dec 30, 2021 9:35 PM

Northwest defensive lineman Sam Roberts earns Cliff Harris Award

Posted Dec 30, 2021 9:35 PM
Photo courtesy of Northwest Missouri State University Athletics
Photo courtesy of Northwest Missouri State University Athletics

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Sam Roberts, senior defensive lineman from Division II Northwest Missouri State, was selected as the winner of the 2021 Cliff Harris Award presented annually by the Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright Lindsey Jennings.

The award honors the nation's small college defensive player of the year representing Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities.

  Roberts, a 6'5", 292-pound, defensive lineman from Waynesville, Mo., was a dominant force on one of the top defenses in America, helping lead the Bearcats to a final national ranking of No. 4 and 11-2 record. He was a 1st team AFCA and DCCA All-American and a 2nd team AP All-American. He was the National Region 3 Defensive Player of the Year and the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Roberts' disruptive play in the trenches was a key factor on the No. 2 nationally-ranked Bearcat defense finishing his senior season with 18 tackles for losses.

More than 5,000 defensive players from over 500 colleges are eligible to win the award. The $3,000 Cliff Harris Trophy will be presented by Cliff Harris at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on January 14, 2022. Special guest speaker for the banquet will be NFL great Joe Theismann.