Finney Named National JC Defensive Player Of The Year
Mean Green Signee Brings Home Nation's Top Defensive Award
DENTON – North Texas football signee linebacker Cortney Finney was named the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year Thursday by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Finney, who signed with North Texas on Wednesday, played at Trinity Valley this past season and was a NJCAA First Team All-American and the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Defensive Most Valuable Player.
Playing in a conference that featured the NJCAA’s top four ranked offenses and five out of the top 10, Finney’s role on the Cardinals defensive unit was critical. The sophomore led the team with 104 tackles, ranking 12th in the nation. He recorded a team-high 12 tackles for loss to go along with three sacks on the season. Finney proved to be opportunistic as well, with four fumble recoveries, tying for the most in the country.
During a three-game stretch midway through the season, Finney tallied a fumble recovery in each victory. His top effort came in the Cardinals’ 55-35 win over Kilgore in the SWJCFC semifinals, when he racked up nine tackles, a sack and an interception. In a 27-24 victory against Coffeyville in the Heart of Texas Bowl, Finney made seven tackles and broke up a pass.
Despite playing on a defense that ranked in the bottom half of the NJCAA in most stats categories, Finney played a pivotal role in leading Trinity Valley to a perfect season. Claiming the SWJCFC regular season and postseason championships, the Cardinals finished with a 12-0 record and were ranked No. 2 in the postseason poll.