Football Writers Association of America Oct. 7, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: George Schroeder
541-953-4080
Sophomore defensive end has overcome cancer Bookmark and Share
UCF'S NALL NOMINATED FOR
FEDEX ORANGE BOWL COURAGE AWARD

DALLAS (FWAA) UCF's Darius Nall is the weekly nominee for the 2009 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Nall, a sophomore defensive end from Douglasville, Ga., has overcome cancer that required three surgeries, the last to remove a baseball-sized tumor from his chest.

Nall

Nall was honored as one of Conference USA's best freshmen in 2007, but was diagnosed during the summer of 2008 with cancer. He underwent surgery on July 9, 2008, to remove the mass. The procedure was followed by radiation therapy.

Nall was declared a cancer survivor last November. He returned to football last spring.

"I don't take anything for granted anymore," he told Florida Today. "Not even life in general. As for football, this is what I do best. I'm just so happy to be back out there again."

Nall has been an important factor on UCF's defense. Through five games, the 6-3, 249-pounder shares the team lead in quarterback pressures.

"He's stronger and bigger than he was before the cancer, and that's showing on the field," UCF coach George O'Leary told the Orlando Sentinel. "I've been very pleased with him and so have his teammates. I don't think they understand how serious his cancer was. He's fortunate to be back, and we're happy to have him back."

FedEx Orange Bowl Courage AwardFor the fourth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy.

The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also a FWAA member. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.

Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).

The Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 330-member, primarily-volunteer organization. It is a self-sustaining, independent organization that supports and produces activities and events that enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida . The Orange Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the FedEx Orange Bowl on January 5, 2010. In 2013, the OBC will again double-host both the FedEx Orange Bowl and the BCS National Championship. Other OBC core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series. For more information on the 2009-10 Orange Bowl Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program, log on to www.orangebowl.org.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,100 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com or 972-713-6198.

2009 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 23: D.J. Williams, Arkansas
Sept. 30: Mark Herzlich, Boston College
Oct. 7: Darius Nall, UCF
Oct. 14: Ricky Rosas, USC
Oct. 21: Derrick Coleman, UCLA
Oct. 28: Connecticut Huskies
Nov. 4: Antoine "Shaky" Smithson, Utah
Nov. 11: Dan Potokar, Ohio State
Nov. 18: Thomas "Rock" Roggeman, East Carolina