DALLAS (FWAA) – Oklahoma State's Vincent
Taylor is this week's nominee for the 2016 Capital
One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Taylor and his family lost their home 11 years ago in Hurricane
Katrina, forcing them to relocate to San Antonio. The Taylors had
initially stayed back in New Orleans for about a week after the
hurricane hit, and during that time the then-10-year-old Taylor
witnessed a number of gruesome images, including floating bodies,
rampant crime and even a gun pointed at his head by a police officer,
according to OSU's student newspaper, the O'Colly.
Now a redshirt junior defensive tackle, Taylor has started 18
straight games for the Cowboys, including this past Saturday's 49-31
win over Texas, when he blocked two Longhorns extra point attempts.
On the first block, Taylor scooped the ball up and then pitched
it back to teammate Tre Flowers for a two-point return.
"It taught me a huge lesson just knowing that I could have
been dead and gone," Vincent told the O'Colly in 2015 of his
upbringing. "But just having faith, it got me where I am today.
Going through Katrina and just seeing what was going on around me
taught me a huge lesson."
Last season, Taylor recorded 48 tackles and five sacks, the highest
single-season totals by any interior lineman in the coach Mike Gundy
era, which began in 2005. Taylor already has 16 tackles, two sacks
and two quarterback hurries this season.
The Courage Award was first presented by the
Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. 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. The winner of
the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange
Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
Previous winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage
Award are Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive
lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman
Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez
(2012), 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
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is
a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization
that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary
mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida
through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained
a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange
Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth
sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and
scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round
schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl
on December 30, 2016. For more information on the 2016-17 Orange
Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through
the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to
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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football.
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 game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
Editor's note: To download a print-quality photo
of Vincent Taylor, click on the photo within the release.
2016 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 14: James Conner, Pittsburgh
Sept. 21: Caylin Moore, TCU
Sept. 28: Riley Sorenson, Washington State
Oct. 5: Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State
Oct. 12: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Oct. 19: Mulbah Car, Houston
Oct. 26: Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, Hawaii
Nov. 2: Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Nov. 9: Tim White, Arizona State
Nov. 16: Adam Ploudre, Missouri
Nov. 23: Mike Sherels, Minnesota
Dec. 1: Quinton Flowers, USF
• Capital One Orange
Bowl Courage Award