LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Olivet College senior defensive lineman Justin Madar has been named as a finalist for the 2016 Cliff Harris Award, presented to the nation's top small-college defensive player. The original group of nominees selected from more than 5,000 defensive players representing more than 500 NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA institutions has been narrowed down to a list of finalists from each level.
Madar is one of 29 finalists from the NCAA Division III level. The winner will be announced Dec. 24 and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on Jan. 19, 2017.
Last month, Madar became only the seventh Olivet player in school history to be named the MIAA's Defensive Most Valuable Player. He is also a three-time first-team All-MIAA selection, earning the honor in 2013, 2015 and 2016. This season, Madar recorded 47 total tackles. He had 18.5 stops for minus 105 yards, including a single-season school record 11.5 quarterback sacks for negative 85 yards.
In his four years at Olivet, Madar recorded 156 total tackles, with 52 tackles for lost yardage (minus 243 yards). He tied the all-time record for quarterback sacks with 24.5 (minus 169 yards).