DALLAS (FWAA) Indiana's J-Shun Harris II is the first weekly nominee for the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Harris, a redshirt junior receiver, earned Big Ten special teams player of the week honors in his second game back after returning from anterior cruciate ligament tears in both his right (2015) and left (2016) knees. Both injuries had occurred during the summer.
"The toughest day was definitely right after surgery, both times," Harris told the school website this summer. "It's nothing you can get used to. Pain is pain. You can only try to build a tolerance.
"But I was thankful for my family, my teammates, the coaches, and the strength and medical staffs. They all helped me keep my mind right, keep my hopes up. And then the best day was getting back out here and it was, 'Wow, no blue jersey, out here competing full-go with my guys.'"
Harris has wasted little time in returning to his old self, as the Fishers, Ind., native amassed 109 punt return yards in the Hoosiers' 34-17 win Saturday at Virginia the most for any Indiana player in a single game since 1991. He had returns of both 43 and 44 yards, with the 44-yarder going for a touchdown.
Before losing his last two seasons to injury, Harris was Indiana's offensive newcomer of the year in his freshman campaign of 2014, when he caught 18 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to his return duties.
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 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are Pittsburgh running back James Conner (2016), Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose 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 Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2017. For more information on the 2017-18 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.
Founded in 1941, 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
2017 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 13: J-Shun Harris II, Indiana |
· Sept. 20: William Lee, NIU |
· Sept. 27: Cristian Garcia, Florida |
· Oct. 4: D'Cota Dixon, Wisconsin |
· Oct. 11: Jake Olson, USC |
· Oct. 18: Darian Roseboro, NC State |
· Oct. 25: Sean Savoy, Virginia Tech |
· Nov. 1: Courtney Love, Kentucky |
· Nov. 8: UAB Blazers
Nov. 15: Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma |
One Orange Bowl Courage Award