DALLAS (FWAA) – Syracuse's Rex Culpepper is this week's nominee for the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Culpepper, a redshirt sophomore, had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in the spring and was declared cancer-free in June.
"At times it was harder than anything else I've faced in my life, but even when things were at their worst, there was never a doubt in my mind that I'd eventually get back here one day, and I will take nothing for granted going forward," Culpepper wrote in August in The Players' Tribune.
Culpepper, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, was diagnosed in March after spring break and endured four one-week rounds of chemotherapy treatments throughout the spring in both Syracuse and his hometown of Tampa, Fla. He made an appearance in the Orange's spring game in April, throwing a touchdown pass, and he was declared cancer-free on June 1. He returned to the program for summer workouts shortly afterward.
The 6-3, 221-pound Culpepper appeared in all 12 games last season and made one start, completing 45 of 75 passes for the season for 518 yards with two touchdowns, while rushing for 54 yards. Syracuse is off to a 4-0 start this season for the first time since 1991.
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 Wisconsin safety D'Cota Dixon (2017) 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 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29, 2018. For more information on the 2018-19 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
2018 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 12: John Schlarman, Kentucky |
· Sept. 19: Nic Weishar, Notre Dame
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· Sept. 26: Rex Culpepper, Syracuse |
· Oct. 3: Caleb Farley, Virginia
Tech | High-resolution
· Oct. 10: Antwan Dixon, Kent State
· Oct. 17: Marquez Stevenson, Houston
· Oct. 24: Janarius Robinson, Florida
State | High-resolution
· Oct. 31: Tre Brown, Oklahoma
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· Nov. 8: Matt Stauder, Indiana
Nov. 14: Kyle Richard, Cortland
Nov. 21: Isaiah Woods, Portland State
One Orange Bowl Courage Award