Bates’ Tony Hooks (5) celebrates after making a big play against Colby at Garcelon Field in Lewiston on Oct. 30. Theophil Syslo/Bates College

Bates College junior linebacker Tony Hooks is one of 55 Division III nominees for the eighth annual Cliff Harris Award.

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.

Hooks, of New Rochelle, New York, was a first team All-NESCAC selection this year, starting all nine games and leading Bates in tackles for the second straight season. His total grew from 59 tackles in 2019 to 92 this season, four more than any other player in the NESCAC. Hooks also tallied 4.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, ranking in the top 10 in the conference in both categories, along with two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Hooks was additionally named to the Noontime Sports All-Noontime D3 New England Football Team. He also earned NESCAC All-Academic honors for the second straight year thanks to his strong performance in the classroom.

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