The Christmas season is a time of giving.
Ashland University senior defensive end James Prater Jr. already gave in 2018 – headaches to opposing offenses, that is. And he continues to receive many postseason awards, the latest two coming this week – second-team Associated Press Division II All-America and finalist for the Cliff Harris Award.
On Wednesday (Dec. 12), Prater Jr. earned his second All-America honor of 2018. Just a week earlier, he was named to the second team of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches' squad.
Then, on Friday (Dec. 14), Prater Jr. was announced as one of the finalists for the Cliff Harris Award, presented to the nation's top small college defensive player. The national winner will be announced on Dec. 24, will be honored at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet on Jan. 10, and will receive the $3,000 award trophy, presented by the former Dallas Cowboys safety himself.
Earlier this offseason, Prater Jr. garnered first-team Super Region 3, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and first-team All-GLIAC honors. He also finished fifth in the finals of the vote for the Gene Upshaw Award, the Division II Senior Lineman of the Year.
This past season, Prater Jr. was second in the GLIAC in sacks (9½) and tied for third in tackles for loss (15), and finished runner-up on the team with 65 total tackles (27 solo). He also broke up four passes.
In 2018, Ashland's football team finished 6-4 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC. All four of the Eagles' losses were to Top 25 teams by a total of 21 points.