WASHINGTON — The Catholic University of America football senior Patrick Vidal was selected as a nominee for the fifth annual Cliff Harris Award, which recognizes the nation's top small college defensive player, as announced by the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Wednesday afternoon.
The Harris Award represents more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 colleges and universities and Vidal is one of just 32 Division III nominees.
Vidal has been one of the most disruptive down linemen in the region and country over the past two seasons. This past year, he ranked fourth in tackles among all defensive linemen.
The Succasunna, N.J., native, recently played in the National Senior Bowl game in Daytona, Fla., this past weekend. H is an D3football.com All-Region selection and First Team All-NEWMAC player who ranked fourth in the league with 82 tackles.
A CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, he racked up 15 tackles for loss, fourth-best in the league and rounded out a stellar campaign with four sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass breakups. Vidal was twice selected as the NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Week as well as two selections to the D3football.com Team of the Week.
The Harris Award selection committee is made up of legendary football names such as Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, Walt Garrison, Gene Stallings, Everson Walls, Charlie Waters, Bill Bates, Gil Brandt, Mel Renfro, Jim Hart, Cornell Green and Cliff Harris.
Finalists will be announced next week with the award winner revealed on December 23 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on January 11, 2018. The winner will receive the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy presented by its namesake along with featured speaker, Marcus Allen.
For the story of Cliff Harris, go to www.CliffHarrisAward.com and read about his amazing journey from an overlooked high school player from tiny Des Arc, Ark., and one scholarship offer to then-NAIA Ouachita Baptist University to five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
Cardinal fans are encouraged to follow all Catholic Athletics and sign up for "email-alerts" that sends the latest news directly to your phone, tablet or device. You can also get the latest info, live stats and video by downloading the Cardinals Front Row Mobile App! Also, be sure to follow the Cardinals on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!