MSU’s Goudeau named Cliff Harris Award nominee

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Minot State junior Kiante Goudeau has been selected as a nominee for the Cliff Harris Award which is presented to the top defensive player in the country representing NCAA Division II and III and NAIA colleges and universities the nominating committee announced on Wednesday.

Goudeau is one of 51 NCAA Division II players nominated and one of 138 total players nominated from the three classifications. More than 5,000 defensive players are eligible to win the award from almost 500 colleges. The $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy will be presented by Cliff Harris at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet.

Goudeau was named Second Team All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North after tying for fourth in the conference with five interceptions. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native returned three interceptions for touchdowns during the season including two against St. Cloud State in the Beavers victory to close the season. He ranked fourth on the team with 63 tackles and also had five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, a blocked kick and 1.5 sacks. He was selected as the NSIC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 13.

This will mark the fifth year that the Cliff Harris Award will be presented. Previous winners include Connor Harris of Lindenwood, Marquis Christian of Midwestern State, Darius Allen of Colorado State-Pueblo and Pierre Desir of Lindenwood.

The award is named in honor of former Dallas Cowboy great Cliff Harris, an Arkansas native who was offered only one college scholarship to then-NAIA Ouachita Baptist University. Harris was passed over for the 1970 NFL draft and signed a free agent contract with the Cowboys and then helped lead Dallas to five Super Bowl appearances during the next decade. The hard-hitting Harris played in six Pro Bowls and changed the way the position of free safety was played.

— Minot State athletics