DALLAS (FWAA) Colorado defensive end Marquez Herrod is the weekly nominee for the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season by the Football Writers Association of America.
Herrod, a fifth-year senior, was homeless for a time as a child, reduced to sleeping on a bus stop bench and begging for change from strangers. He never met his biological father, was abused as a toddler by a stepfather and later was taken from his mother by the state.
After his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, Herrod was sent initially to a children's home, and then lived in several different foster homes.
"I just didn't want to go wrong," he told the Denver Post. I wanted to settle down with a family. I just wanted to graduate from high school."
Herrod is on pace to graduate from college in December with a 3.0-plus grade point average. He'll earn degrees in psychology and business management.
Herrod didn't begin playing football until high school, but quickly developed into a highly touted defensive end prospect. As a senior, he's sharing time in a rotation at defensive end. He has two tackles this season. His goal is to play pro football, but he also hopes to help children who grow up in situations similar to his past.
"To me, it's a resurrection story," Herrod's pastor, John Roberts, told the Boulder Daily Camera. "The circumstances could have made him bitter, but it made him better."
For the fifth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The recipient of the Courage Award will be announced in December and presented with the trophy in conjunction with this year's Discover Orange Bowl.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an FWAA member. A select group of FWAA members vote on the recipient 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 the Connecticut Huskies (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane Green Wave (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, 343-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 Discover Orange Bowl on January 3, 2011. Other OBC core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series. For more information on the 2010-11 Orange Bowl Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program, visit 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.
2010 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 29: Zac Etheridge, Auburn and Rodney Scott,
· Oct. 6: Jon Hoese, Minnesota
· Oct. 13: Marquez Herrod, Colorado
· Oct. 20: Matt Anderson, North Dakota State
· Oct. 27: Jamie Hampton, Troy
· Nov. 3: Ricky Dobbs, Navy
· Nov. 17: Andrew, Colter and Paul Phillips
· Nov. 24: Mississippi State Bulldogs
· Dec. 1: Eric LeGrand, Rutgers