DALLAS (FWAA) Troy quarterback Jamie Hampton 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.
Hampton, a junior from Cedar Bluff, Ala., who originally committed to Purdue, went instead to Troy in 2007 in order to stay closer to his mother after his father was jailed. As a sophomore, he won a three-player battle at quarterback and was off to a good start (107-for-174 passing, 1,046 yards and nine touchdowns, with one interception through five games) before suffering a catastrophic knee injury. He missed the rest of the 2008 season and 2009, as well.
He returned to action this fall as a backup, but was being used as a short-yardage and change-of-pace quarterback. But in the fifth game almost two years exactly from his previous injury · not long after throwing a touchdown pass, he suffered a horrific fracture to the same leg. It was the kind of injury that causes people to turn away from the television screen.
"I couldn't talk for about 30 minutes," Troy coach Larry Blakeney told the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle. "He's one of my favorite kids ever. ... This guy loves everybody on this team. I told everybody at halftime that we lost a guy for the year and maybe for his career that loves every one of y'all."
But Hampton determined to continue in whatever role he could.
A team captain, Hampton participated in the pregame coin toss the next week, heading to midfield on crutches. Hampton, who carries a 3.449 GPA in mathematics, plans to try another comeback in 2011, but would remain part of the football program in any event. He is involved in several Christian campus ministries and would like to continue working in a similar role after graduation.
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