SMALL COLLEGE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Cliff Harris Award is presented to the top defensive player in the country representing Division II, III and NAIA colleges and universities.
THIS YEAR’S WINNER…
COREY BALLENTINE, DEFENSIVE BACK, WASHBURN ICHABODS
The 6’0 195 pounder from Topeka, Kansas was an AFCA All-American cornerback in 2018 for the Ichabods and became one of the top kick returners, kick blockers and track sprinters in Washburn history.
Ballentine finished his senior season for the 5-6 Ichabods with 50 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and three blocked kicks.
He finished his career with 186 tackles in 46 games, with 113 solo stops and five interceptions.
“First and foremost I would like to thank God for the abilities he gave me,″ Ballentine said in a Washburn press release announcing the Harris award. “I’d like to thank my mom, dad and sister for supporting me in everything I do and always having my back. I would also like to thank my teammates and coaches for believing in me and helping me raise the standards for myself.”
Ballentine played in the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on January 26, 2019.
The 2018 Cliff Harris Award top vote-getters included:
- Washburn – DB Corey Ballentine, senior (Winner)
- Springfield College – DL Nick Giorgio, senior (D III, tie)
- MacMurray College – DL Javon Muhammed, senior (D III, tie)
- Dakota State – DL Curt Boeke, senior (NAIA, tie)
- Kansas Wesleyan – DL Shaq Bradford, junior (NAIA, tie)