Ouachita Baptist University will join the Little Rock Touchdown Club this Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Southern Bancorp Battle of the Ravine to honor Tiger football legend Cliff Harris at halftime. Touchdown Club President David Bazzel will unveil the trophy for the organization’s Cliff Harris Award, to be presented to the premier small college defensive player at the end of each season.
Players will be chosen from Division II, III and NAIA colleges and universities. Finalists from all three divisions and an overall winner will be chosen by head coaches and a prestigious selection committee of college and pro football greats. The winner will be announced in December and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet in February 2014 featuring guest speaker Lou Holtz. The winner will receive the Cliff Harris Award Trophy.
Harris, an All-AIC and All-America safety for the Tigers and five-time Super Bowl competitor with the Dallas Cowboys, said he is excited to be associated with the award.
“As a small college player myself, I always understood that recognition and respect for outstanding play was more difficult to attain compared to players from larger schools,” Harris said. “Because of this I relied on perseverance and mental toughness to help me play my best even when it wasn’t recognized. This enabled me to succeed at every level including the NFL and five Super Bowls.
“I’m honored that this award looks to recognize those players who may not receive the acknowledgement and accolades deserved because they represent small colleges,” he added. “My hope is that the award will provide these players with added confidence and the appropriate distinction of being one of the best defensive players in the country regardless of the level of football they play.”
Harris will be in attendance this Saturday and will join David Bazzel on the field at halftime to participate in the trophy unveiling.
Saturday’s game will mark the 87th meeting between Ouachita Baptist and Henderson State. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at A.U. Williams Field on the Ouachita campus.
By Kyle Parris, OBU Sports Information Director