Football Writers Association of America Oct. 5, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Schuyler Easterling
305-341-4737
.pdf version
Junior defensive tackle's family was displaced by Katrina
Bookmark and Share  
OKLAHOMA STATE'S TAYLOR NOMINATED
FOR ORANGE BOWL-FWAA COURAGE AWARD

DALLAS (FWAA) Oklahoma State's Vincent Taylor is this week's nominee for the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Taylor

Taylor and his family lost their home 11 years ago in Hurricane Katrina, forcing them to relocate to San Antonio. The Taylors had initially stayed back in New Orleans for about a week after the hurricane hit, and during that time the then-10-year-old Taylor witnessed a number of gruesome images, including floating bodies, rampant crime and even a gun pointed at his head by a police officer, according to OSU's student newspaper, the O'Colly.

Now a redshirt junior defensive tackle, Taylor has started 18 straight games for the Cowboys, including this past Saturday's 49-31 win over Texas, when he blocked two Longhorns extra point attempts. On the first block, Taylor scooped the ball up and then pitched it back to teammate Tre Flowers for a two-point return.

"It taught me a huge lesson just knowing that I could have been dead and gone," Vincent told the O'Colly in 2015 of his upbringing. "But just having faith, it got me where I am today. Going through Katrina and just seeing what was going on around me taught me a huge lesson."

Last season, Taylor recorded 48 tackles and five sacks, the highest single-season totals by any interior lineman in the coach Mike Gundy era, which began in 2005. Taylor already has 16 tackles, two sacks and two quarterback hurries this season.

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 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 Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2016. For more information on the 2016-17 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 at tiger@fwaa.com.

Editor's note: To download a print-quality photo of Vincent Taylor, click on the photo within the release. 

2016 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 14: James Conner, Pittsburgh
Sept. 21: Caylin Moore, TCU
Sept. 28: Riley Sorenson, Washington State
Oct. 5: Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State
Oct. 12: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Oct. 19: Mulbah Car, Houston
Oct. 26: Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea, Hawaii
Nov. 2: Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Nov. 9: Tim White, Arizona State
Nov. 16: Adam Ploudre, Missouri
Nov. 23: Mike Sherels, Minnesota
Dec. 1: Quinton Flowers, USF

Related link:
Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award