DALLAS (FWAA) Arizona State's Keegan Herring
has been nominated for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award,
to be announced at the end of the 2007 season. Herring, a junior
running back, is playing this season despite the deaths of three
family members and a close friend in the last few months.
Herring's father, Freeman, died last February. Herring's sister,
Denisha Washington, died last June. An aunt died two days later,
and a friend soon after.
"Life is not easy right now," Herring told the Arizona Republic
last August. "I'm trying to be there for my team, even though I'm
still hurting inside."
Although Herring, who was a standout as a freshman in 2005, when
he broke the Sun Devils' freshman rushing record, began the 2007
season as a backup, but when Ryan Torain was injured at midseason,
he came through. He has 659 yards and four touchdowns as Arizona
State has forged an 8-1 record.
"My dad always told me you've got the heart of a lion, so that's
what I'm always carrying," Herring told the newspaper. "A lot of
people say they've got to transport their mind to being hard, aggressive
and thinking about the people they love that pass away. That's what
I'm going to try to do take all of my anger and my emotions and
try to get it out. Just play football, but now I've got a little
bit more heart into it."
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