DALLAS (FWAA) Penn State's Anthony Zettel is this week's nominee for the 2015 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Zettel, a 6-4, 284-pound defensive tackle from West Branch, Mich., earned Big Ten defensive player of the week honors for his performance Saturday, one day after the loss of his father, Terry, 46, who died after a 19-month battle with stage-four cancer.
There was no pressure for him to play the last three weeks,· Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said after the game. ·That was up to him. I felt like that's what his family · his dad · would've wanted him to do.·
Zettel recorded a career-high seven tackles in Penn State's 37-21 win over San Diego State. Of those tackles, 2.5 were behind the line of scrimmage. Zettel added a fumble recovery and a pass break-up. The redshirt senior drove home after each game the last three weeks. The memorial service for Zettel's father was Sunday.
The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (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 Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
Previous winners of the award are Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jos 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).
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is a 363-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 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 31, 2015. 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 2015-16 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2015, the Football Writers Association of America 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 game-day 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.
Editor's note: To download a print-quality photo of Anthony Zettel, click on the photo within the release.
2015 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 16: Bobby Swigert, Boston College
Sept. 23: Jake Olson, USC
Sept. 30: Anthony Zettel, Penn State
Oct. 7: Leonard Fournette, LSU
Oct. 14: Cheatham Norrils, Toledo
Oct. 21: J.B. Grimes, Auburn
Oct. 28: D.J. Foster, Arizona State
Nov. 4: Demetrious Nicholson, Virginia
Nov. 11: Jerry Kill, Minnesota
Nov. 18: Mitchell Meyers, Iowa State
Nov. 25: Hunter Knighton, Miami
Dec. 2: Justin Hansen, Colorado State
Capital One Orange
Bowl Courage Award