DALLAS (FWAA) N.C. State defensive back Jarvis Byrd is the final weekly nominee for the 2014 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Byrd, a 5-10, 190-pound graduate student was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA last spring. Byrd missed all of the 2010 and 2011 seasons with separate anterior cruciate ligament tears and then suffered a third torn ACL in the fifth game of the 2013 season and had to sit out the final seven games. The Pahokee, Fla., native started the first five games of 2013 at free safety before the season-ending injury.
During the 2014 season, Byrd, 24, has appeared in eight of the Wolfpack's 11 games, registering six tackles (five unassisted) and two pass breakups. Hes wearing the No. 1 jersey that Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren gave him before the 2014 season because of his commitment.
"At first I wasn't thinking about coming back," Byrd told the Associated Press in an August interview. "I was done with football. I was like, 'Man, I've been through this process three times. I know how hard it is to come back off this injury.' This is one of the most difficult injuries you can get as a football player, so I was done.
"I'm a very strong person," he said in the interview. "I have very strong faith in my religion and in myself. ... It made me become a stronger person, inside and out."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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