LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (USF) – Senior defensive end Joey Wehrkamp of the University of Sioux Falls has been named a finalist for the eighth annual Cliff Harris Award as the Small College Player of the Year as announced December 23 by the Little Rock Touchdown Club and Wright Lindsey Jennings, LLP.

Wehrkamp becomes the fifth USF player to be named finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, joining Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck, who was an All-American in 2017 at USF. Others honored included 2016 All-American linebacker Michael Mehling and 16-time All-American defensive back Solomon St. Pierre in 2014-15.

The award is presented to the nation’s top small college defensive player representing more than 5,000 defensive players from almost 500 NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA colleges and universities. A prestigious selection committee made up of former college and pro football greats will select the winner. In addition to the Cliff Harris Award overall winner, the top vote getter from each division will also be announced. The Cliff Harris Award winner will be announced on December 28, 2021, and honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet on January 14, 2022.

The winner will receive the $3,000 Cliff Harris Award trophy presented by Cliff Harris along with featured speaker Joe Theismann. Previous winners include Pierre Desir, Lindenwood University; Darius Allen, Colorado State University-Pueblo; Marqui Christian, Mid-Western State University; Connor Harris, Lindenwood University; Michael Joseph of Dubuque; Corey Ballentine of Washburn University, and Kyle Dugger of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

On Dec. 16, Wehrkamp was named to the first-team defense on the 2021 Associated Press NCAA DII All-American Team. The selection of Wehrkamp, who led USF to an 8-3 record and an NSIC South Division title, gives USF 121 All-Americans in school history, including student-athletes selected to six Associated Press teams in past seven years.

Wehrkamp, who earned his first All-American honor, was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award for the lineman of the year in DII. The first-team All-NSIC honoree was also named to the D2CCA Super Region 4 First Team Defense. In the Upshaw Award, he was one of eight finalists for the Upshaw honor after two candidates advanced from each of the four super regions in NCAA Division II.

In 2021, Wehrkamp led USF to a 27th consecutive winning season, a mark that ranks fourth across all divisions.

The Sioux Falls (Washington HS) native ranked second in the NSIC in sacks with 9.5 (44th, DII) and sixth in tackles for loss with 16. He had 28 solo tackles and 37 total stops along with five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in leading USF. Wehrkamp was part of a USF defense that ranked fourth in the NSIC and 38th nationally by allowing 114.8 rushing yards per game, first in scoring defense in the NSIC and 38th nationally at 20.3 and fifth in total defense at 366.5 yards per game.

During his career, the two-time Academic All-NSIC honoree has accumulated 17.5 sacks – ninth all-time at USF – and 34 TFLs – 10th all-time at USF. In making 46 straight starts, Wehrkamp accumulated 132 tackles with 83 solo stops, nine pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles. USF compiled a 32-14 record during his tenure with two playoff berths.

Enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program, he has been involved in service including serving at the Banquet, volunteering at youth Football camps and coaching youth Basketball.