Zac Schleuger is a finalist for the 2015 Cliff Harris Award presented to the nation’s outstanding small college defensive player.

Zac Schleuger, a 6-2, 220 lb. senior linebacker from Wesley, Iowa, is one of 63 national finalists for the third annual Cliff Harris Award.

Schleuger was also a finalist for the 2014 Cliff Harris Award.

The award is presented by the Little Rock Touchdown Club to the nation’s top small college defensive player representing almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III, and NAIA colleges and universities. The award is named after Cliff Harris, who played his collegiate football at the NAIA level for Ouachita Baptist University before he went on to play in five Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.

Schleuger, the 2015 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Co-Defensive Player of the Year, was the leading tackler for a Morningside team that posted a 12-2 record, won a fifth consecutive GPAC championship, and reached the semifinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series, where it lost 30-27 against defending NAIA National Champion Southern Oregon University.

Schleuger collected 53 solos and 62 assists for 115 tackles during the 2015 campaign to top the Mustangs’ tackle chart for the third year in a row. He had nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses of 29 yards, six pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, three quarterback sacks, and two interceptions. Both of his interceptions went for touchdowns with runbacks of 38 yards against Northwestern College and 32 yards against Hastings College.

Schleuger, a 2015 AFCA NAIA Coaches second-team All-American and a 2014 USA College Football second-team All-American, earned first-team All-GPAC honors each of the last two seasons and was a second-team selection as a sophomore. Schleuger collected 345 career tackles over the last four seasons to make him one of only six players in Morningside history to amass over 300 career tackles.

The Cliff Harris Award winner will be announced on Dec. 24 and will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet in February 2016.