• 30 Iowa Conference titles
  • 20 NCAA Div. III playoff berths
  • No losing seasons since 1960
  • Fourth-winningest NCAA football team since 1975 (.796)

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Central's Samson a finalist for national award

Football | Dec. 12, 2013

PELLA—The spotlight continues to shine on Central College defensive end Danny Samson (Baxter, CMB HS), who was named a finalist for the 2013 Cliff Harris Award, presented annually to the top small college (NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA) defensive football player in the country.

Finalists from all three divisions and an overall winner will be chose by head coaches and a selection committee headlined by six members of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor—Roger Staubach, Lee Roy Jordan, Drew Pearson, Rayfield Wright, Mel Renfro and award namesake Cliff Harris.

The winner will be announced later this month and honored at the Little Rock (Ark.) Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet in February, featuring guest speaker Lou Holtz. The Cliff Harris Award Trophy, presented by the Wright, Lindsey & Jennings Law Firm.

It is yet another honor for the 5-11, 255-pound senior, who was named the All-West Region first-team defense Tuesday and is set to participate in two senior all-star games—Friday night’s Division III Senior Classic Friday in Salem, Va., and the Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) Dec. 21 in Monterrey, Mexico. A webcast of Friday’s game in Virginia will be available at

Samson was named Iowa Conference football defensive MVP—the 15th league MVP award in program history—after leading the league with 11.5 sacks over 10 games (1.15 per game) for 73 yards lost and with 21.5 tackles for loss for 96 yards lost. He also tied for second in fumbles recovered with two and recorded three of Central’s 11 blocked kicks—the second most blocks by an NCAA team. Samson was twice named to the team of the week (Oct. 2, Oct. 23) and tabbed conference defensive player of the week (Sept. 29, Oct. 20).

By way of his all-region honor, Samson will be considered for the All-America teams, which will be announced Friday, Dec. 20, on televised pregame coverage of the Division III championship game.

Central College