Cliff’s ‘Pick’: Volk’s 13 Interceptions Secures 2023 Cliff Harris Award in Division II 

[LITTLE ROCK, AR] –The Cliff Harris award, generously sponsored by Wright, Lindsey, Jennings LLP, proudly announces the selection of Central Washington University Safety Tanner Volk, as the 2023 Cliff Harris Award Winner for NCAA Division II. He becomes the first Junior and Central Washington University player to ever win the award. 

Volk’s nation leading 13 interceptions(1TD) and 182 interception return yards helped the Wildcats surge to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Playoffs. His remarkable 2023 season stats included leading the nation in total tackles at 124 in 13 games. Volk finished with an average of 1 interception, 1.3 passes defended (17 total), and 9.5 tackles per game. 

Volk was the only defensive player named as a Harlon Hill Award Finalist and finished in 4th place. He was just the 14th defensive player to ever be named a finalist for that award. 

Volk also earned 1st Team AFCA All-American and 1st Team AP All-American honors as well as being named the Lonestar Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also recognized as the DII Conference Commissioner’s Association Defensive Player of the Year. 

“After reviewing our outstanding group of finalists for this season, we’re thrilled to be able to recognize the incredible season Tanner Volk had for Central Washington,” said Cliff Harris. “Not only leading the nation with 13 interceptions but also in total tackles is something this old safety can appreciate. Congratulations to Tanner and can’t wait to present your award to you in 2024.” 

The presentation of the prestigious Cliff Harris Award Trophy will be presented to each winner of NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA at a date to be determined in early 2024. 

For media inquiries, interviews, or additional information, please contact: 

David Bazzel or Debbie Wyman– Little Rock Touchdown Club- 

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About the Cliff Harris Award: The Cliff Harris Award is an annual recognition program dedicated to celebrating exceptional defensive players in small college football. Named after NFL Hall of Famer Cliff Harris, the award acknowledges players who exhibit excellence on and off the field. 

The Trophy: One of the most unique awards in all of college football, the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy stands almost two feet tall and weighs 35 pounds. A rare two-figurine sports action bronze sculpture, the Cliff Harris Award represents an actual tackle by NFL Hall of Fame and Dallas Cowboy great Cliff Harris, against Harold Jackson of the Los Angeles Rams. What makes this trophy truly exceptional is its intricate design, showcasing extreme angles and attachment points that secure the two bronze players to a three-tier walnut wood base, setting it apart from any other trophy in all levels of college football. Crafted from fourteen distinct bronze pieces, its assembly process ranks among the most intricate and complex in sports awards. Every winner from DII, DIII and NAIA will receive their own Cliff Harris Award trophy. 

Sculpted by Raymond Gibby and designed by David Bazzel, this trophy embodies excellence in both craftsmanship and football achievement. 

Over the last decade, many of the finalists and winners have continued their outstanding football careers in the National Football League. 

  • Pierre Desir (Lindenwood, winner ’13) 
  • Malcom Butler (West Alabama, finalist ’13) 
  • Marqui Christian (Midwestern State, winner ’15) 
  • Matthew Judon (Grand Valley State, finalist ’15) 
  • Michael Joeseph (Dubuque, winner ’17) 
  • Corey Ballentine (Washburn, winner ’18) 
  • Kyle Duggar (Lenoir-Rhyne, winner ’19) 
  • Sam Roberts (Northwest Missouri State, winner ’21) 
  • Caleb Murphy (Ferris State, winner ’22) 

For more information about the Cliff Harris Award and to stay updated on the latest news and developments, please visit