LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Senior Cole Burdette (Frederick, Md./Urbanna) has been named a finalist for the fourth annual Cliff Harris Award for the nation's top small college defensive player.
The Little Rock Touchdown Club, as well as Wright, Lindsey, Jennings, announced the finalists for the award. The award is presented to the top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from nearly 500 NCAA Division II and Division III as well as NAIA colleges & universities.
Burdette was All-South Region Third Team by D3football.com. He was named the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year in the ODAC and was All-ODAC First Team. Burdette was the anchor for the top defense in the league and one of the best in the nation. He led the team and was third in the ODAC with 18 tackles for loss (minus-86 yards) and 9.5 quarterback sacks (minus-62 yards). Burdette was tied for third on the team with 51 total tackles and he had three pass deflections. R-MC was tops in the ODAC and eighth in the nation in rush defense, allowing 71.6 yards per game on the ground. The Yellow Jackets were also first in the conference and 13th in the country in scoring defense, allowing 14.3 points per contest. Burdette was named ODAC Defensive Player of the Week following R-MC's 31-10 victory over Guilford.
Under ODAC Coach of the Year Pedro Arruza, the Yellow Jackets won their 10th ODAC title, the second-highest total in league history. R-MC posted a 9-2 mark, matching the program record for victories in a season. The Yellow Jackets went 6-1 in ODAC play, setting a school record for ODAC wins in a season. R-MC earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Arruza, in his 13th season at Randolph-Macon, was named ODAC Coach of the Year for the second time. He was also honored in 2008.
The Cliff Harris Award winner will be announced on December 24 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on January 19, 2017, featuring guest speaker Archie Manning. The winner will receive the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy presented by Cliff Harris. The top vote recipients from each division will also be announced.
To view entire list of finalists, click here