Little Rock, Ark. - January 4, 2019 - The Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP announced that Springfield College's Nick Giorgio (Cumberland, R.I.) received the most votes among Division III student-athletes for the sixth annual Cliff Harris Award.
The award is presented to the nation's top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities. A prestigious selection committee made up of former college and pro football greats selected Division-II standout Corey Ballentine from Washburn University as the Cliff Harris Award recipient, and he will be and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on January 10, 2019. Giorgio and MacMurry College's Javon Muhammad tied for the most votes among Division III student-athletes, while Curt Boeke from Dakota State and Shaq Bradford of Kansas Wesleyan garnered the most votes among the NAIA national finalists.
This year's finalist list includes 31 Division II players, 35 Division III players and 15 players from NAIA. This marks the fourth time a Springfield College student-athlete has been named a finalist, as Max Nacewicz '16 earned back-to-back recognitions in 2014 and 2015, while Giorgio was one of 30 Division III student-athletes who were finalists last year.
At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Giorgio has received numerous national honors in recognition of his tremendous senior season. An AFCA and AP First Team All-America selection, Giorgio was one of 13 semifinalists for the Gagliardi National Player of the Year Trophy, and was named both the Gridrion Club of Greater Boston's Division II/III New England Defensive Player of the Year and the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Athlete of the Year. He totaled 82 tackles, including 29 tackles-for-loss and 14 sacks, to go along with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two blocked kicks. He ranks second among all active college football players for career tackles-for-loss per game (1.91), is the Division III active leader for career forced fumbles (9), while his 82 tackles was the third most for a defensive end in Division III football this year.