DAVIDSON, N.C. — Fresh off a season where he became just the fourth consensus All-America in Oregon history, Cliff Harris has been named the 2010 College Football Performance Awards punt returner trophy recipient.
Harris, a true sophomore from Fresno, Calif., led the FBS with four punt returns for touchdowns and ranked second nationally with an average of 18.8 yards per return. He set program marks for punt return TDs in a game (2) and season (4) while tying the career record (4).
At his defensive position, the dynamic cornerback led the nation with 23 passes defended and 17 breakups, and was tops in the Pac-10 with six interceptions, including one returned 76 yards for a touchdown at Tennessee.
A three-time recipient of the CFPA’s weekly punt returner performer award, Harris will receive a 22″ trophy featuring a K9 optic crystal tower with an 8″ pure K9 optic crystal football on top. He is the second UO player in as many seasons to be honored by the CFPA, joining LaMichael James, who earned the freshman performer of the year distinction in 2009.
Unlike most postseason honors, which are often determined by using simple popular voting methods, the CFPA prides itself on the scientific merits of its selection system.
From Bradley C. Smith, CFPA executive director:
I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for all your hard work as a student-athlete at Oregon and briefly explain the significance of your achievements as a punt returner for the Ducks.
The goal of the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. CFPA recognizes weekly, annual, and multi-season (career) award recipients – selected based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
After an extensive review of the existing data, literature, and evidence, it was determined that you finished the 2010 season with the strongest punt return performance – not only this year – but in the 4 most recent seasons of D-I FBS college football. As a result, your performance satisfies the strict criteria CFPA established for recognition.
On behalf of everyone at CFPA — Assistant Director Harold A. Smith, M.D., Academic Review Chair Paul Studtmann, Ph.D., Associate Director Kyle Mauk, M.D, and academic review associates, including former Science Advisor to President Obama, Lawrence Krauss, Ph.D., please accept our sincerest congratulations….