DALLAS (FWAA) Zerbin Singleton has been
nominated for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to
be announced at the end of the 2007 season. Singleton, a senior
slotback, overcame a troubled background to win an appointment to
the Naval Academy, and is on track to reach his ultimate goal of
becoming an astronaut.
Singleton didn't know his father until he was a senior in high
school; a year later, his father committed suicide. Singleton had
been living with cousins in Decatur, Ga., since he was 11, when
he left his home in Alaska because his mother went to jail for a
Wanting to pursue military aviation and his dream of becoming
an astronaut, Singleton was accepted by the Naval Academy and the
Air Force Academy, and chose the Navy because of the potential to
"land on a carrier, in pitch black, while it's tilting left and
right," he told SI.com.
But Singleton's dream was deferred when he was hit by a drunk
driver one week before he was scheduled to graduate high school
(as valedictorian). A broken collarbone meant he couldn't go through
Navy's plebe summer, and couldn't enroll. But after a year at Georgia
Tech, Singleton transferred to Navy. He's been a two-year starter.
He carries a 3.2 GPA in aerospace engineering.
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).
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