DALLAS (FWAA) – Arizona State's Angelo Richardson
is the weekly nominee for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA
Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season.
Richardson, a junior from Oakland, Calif., is enrolled in school
six years after a shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.
After a spectacular junior-college career at Santa Rosa Junior
College, Richardson signed a letter of intent to play for the Sun
Devils in 2006. His arrival was highly anticipated. "He was
one of those players who immediately jumped out at you," former
Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter told the Oakland Tribune. "He
could run by everybody. He had size, speed, toughness and elusiveness."
But a few weeks later, early on March 4, 2006, Richardson was
shot twice – once in the chest, and then in the back. His spinal
cord was not penetrated, but it was damaged by what doctors called
shock-wave destruction. Richardson was with friends in San Francisco
and was not involved in the dispute that prompted the shooting.
"You can't live in the what-if phase," Richardson told
the Arizona Republic. "What if is not actually reality.
This is who I am now, and I have to go forward and progress."
The Sun Devils honored Richardson's scholarship, even though
he was signed two coaching staffs ago. He is majoring in justice.
He is a regular at practices and games, watching from his wheelchair.
Richardson trained for the Tempe heat, doing workouts of as long
as three miles in the wheelchair.
"I can't commend this university enough, because in actuality
they don't have to do what they're doing for me," Richardson
told the Arizona Republic. "I never played one snap
here. They stood by their word 100 percent. This new staff treats
me as family. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms."
Richardson, now 27, retains hope of walking again one day. He
says he draws inspiration from his daughter, Angelia, who was born
a few months after he was paralyzed.
"He's a great example of incredible spirit and attitude,"
Arizona State coach Todd Graham told the Oakland Tribune. "...
(He's) an example of how you respond to adversity. He's a big part
of what we're doing."
For the seventh straight year, the Football Writers Association
of America and the Discover 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 Discover
Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and
be presented with the trophy during the week of the 2013 Discover
BCS National Championship Game.
Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene
Wojciechowski, also an 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
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are Michigan State
offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle
Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team
(2009), 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).
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is
a 348-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization
that promotes and serves the South Florida community. The Orange
Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating
with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 1, 2013 and the Discover
BCS National Championship on January 7, 2013. Other Orange Bowl
core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic,
Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority,
Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, Orange Bowl Sailing
Regatta Series and Orange Bowl Paddle Championships. For more information
on the 2012-13 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 1,200 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 email@example.com or 972-713-6198.
2012 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 26: Daniel Rodriguez, Clemson
• Oct. 3: Angelo Richardson, Arizona State
• Oct. 10: Patience Beard, Arkansas
• Oct. 17: Neiron Ball, Florida
• Oct. 31: Dan Werner, Mississippi
• Nov. 8: Jay Prosch, Auburn
• Nov. 15: Austin Woods, Oklahoma