DALLAS (FWAA) Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman is the fifth weekly nominee for the 2014 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Coleman, now a leukemia survivor, was diagnosed during the spring of his senior year of high school in 2010 a few days after signing a national letter-of-intent to attend Auburn. From that time, he underwent 2.5 years of treatment at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis and enrolled at Auburn in January, 2011.
The 6-6, 310-pound Coleman, who played high school football at Olive Branch High School in the Memphis area, began limited practice with the Auburn football team in the spring of 2012 and saw his first game action during 2013 as a backup to Greg Robinson. He is the starting left offensive tackle for Auburn this season.
He earned his bachelors degree in public administration in May, 2014 and is currently working toward a master·s degree in adult education while still pursuing his dream of playing in the National Football League. Coleman is a redshirt sophomore.
Coleman talks freely with others who have been diagnosed with leukemia and, along with his mother, has been a great representative for St. Jude.
"Faith, that's been one of the biggest things that's just kept striving me forward, with my family, and just working hard," Coleman told AL.com. "Where I'm from in Memphis, you really don't see a lot of people even get to college or the spot that I'm in. My hometown really showed me that you have to work hard for anything that you want or desire."
The Courage Award was first presented by the 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 Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are San José 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 Jos State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
The Orange Bowl is a 360-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 Capital One Orange Bowl on December 31, 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 2014-15 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to www.orangebowl.org.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, 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 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 214-870-6516.
2014 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 17: Deon Hill, Georgia Tech
Sept. 24: Ian Frye, Virginia
Oct. 1: Zack Golditch, Colorado State
Oct. 8: Josh Clemons, Kentucky
Oct. 15: Shon Coleman, Auburn
Oct. 22: Rori Blair, Pittsburgh
Oct. 29: Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville
Nov. 5: Laken Tomlinson, Duke
Nov. 12: Kyle McCarthy, Notre Dame
Nov. 19: Jarvis Byrd, N.C. State
Bowl Courage Award