DALLAS (FWAA) Missouri senior wide receiver L'Damian Washington is the weekly nominee for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award that will be announced at the end of the season.
Washington, a rangy 6-4 wide receiver from Shreveport, La., has been the emotional leader for the 10th-ranked Tigers this season after a tumultuous upbringing that included the murder of his father when he was five years old. A decade later his mother, Sonya, only 38, died after complications from a blood clot.
The third youngest of four brothers was left to help raise the family with his two older brothers. The fourth brother is still in high school. They bonded and stayed together, despite attempts to split them up. And when it came time for Washington to accept a college scholarship, after initially planning on attending nearby Louisiana Tech, his brothers encouraged him to go to Missouri.
Washington has overcome all the obstacles and has a resume that ranks him among the top receivers in college football. Through eight games this season, he leads the Tigers with 635 yards receiving on 33 catches (a 19.2 yards-per-catch average) and has eight touchdown receptions.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN's senior columnist 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 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 (2002).
The Orange Bowl is a 351-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3, 2014. 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 International Youth Regatta, Orange Bowl Swim Classic and Orange Bowl Paddle Championships. For more information on the 2013-14 Orange Bowl 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.
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.
2013 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 25: Eric Fieilo, San Houston State
· Oct. 2: Gabe Woullard, East Carolina
Oct. 9: Bryson James, South Alabama
Oct. 16: Anthony Larceval, San José State
Oct. 23: Jim Weaver, Virginia Tech
Oct. 30: L'Damian Washington, Missouri
Nov. 6: Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
Nov. 13: Case McCoy, Texas
Nov. 20: Coaching Staff, Minnesota
Orange Bowl Courage Award