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
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).
The 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 OBCs 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