Football Writers Association of America Sept. 19, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: George Schroeder
405-923-7814
Linebacker plays despite hearing loss
KENTUCKY'S CLAYTON NOMINATED FOR
FEDEX ORANGE BOWL COURAGE AWARD

DALLAS (FWAA) – Kentucky's Terry Clayton has been nominated for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the 2007 season. Clayton, a senior linebacker, was left almost completely deaf after a serious case of chicken pox at age 5. But he walked on to the Wildcats' football team and is an honor-roll student majoring in kinesiology.

Kentucky linebacker Terry Clayton

Clayton regularly visits the Kentucky School for the Deaf, which he once attended, to encourage the students.

"Battling school and football is tough, so I keep going," Clayton told CBSSports.com. "I want to be successful and a role model to people who are like me."

Clayton wears hearing aids during classes, but isn't able to wear them during practice or games. A reserve at weakside linebacker, Clayton has seen action mostly on special teams. He has twice made the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

"Never once has he used his disability as an excuse not to do something," Kentucky linebackers coach Chuck Smith said. "On the field he is a strong, explosive player. He really pays attention and picks things up by watching."

For the second straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy.

The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also a FWAA member. 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.

Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are 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).

FedEx Orange Bowl Courage AwardThe Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 309-member, primarily volunteer organization that exists as a self-sustaining, independent organization supporting and producing activities and events which enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida. Among the OBC’s core events are the Orange Bowl Festival, FedEx Orange Bowl and Orange Bowl Halftime Show, the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, the WaMu Orange Bowl Fan Fest presented by the City of Miami, the Budweiser Orange Bowl Tailgate Party, Orange Bowl Youth Football Championships, Orange Bowl Cheer & Dance Championships, Orange Bowl Swim Classic, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series.

For more information on the 2007-08 Orange Bowl Festival and its year-round schedule of events and promotions, log on to orangebowl.org, the official site for all Orange Bowl Committee news, tickets and apparel. The website also offers information on event tickets, the Orange Bowl Travel Network and experiencing the Orange Bowl Festival as a volunteer through the Ambassador Program.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,000 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. 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, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

2007 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 12: Brian Kajiyama, Hawaii
• Sept. 19: Terry Clayton, Kentucky
• Sept. 26: Danny Langsdorf, Oregon State
• Oct. 3: Lester Karlin, Virginia Tech
• Oct. 10: Zerbin Singleton, Navy
• Oct. 17: Ben Mauk, Cincinnati
• Oct. 24: Nic Harris, Oklahoma
• Oct. 31: Marcus Smith, New Mexico
• Nov. 7: Keegan Herring, Arizona State