DALLAS (FWAA) – Alex Charlton is this week's
nominee for the 2020 Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award.
Charlton, a former Midwestern State graduate assistant and
Arkansas State volunteer defensive analyst, took a leave from
football to join the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as a
"There were many times I just found myself holding somebody's
hand who just needed that moment of support," Charlton told The
Athletic this summer, "to not feel like they're alone in a hospital
with all these people walking around with all this gear on."
Charlton had been a student assistant, player personnel assistant
and graduate assistant at Kansas. He enrolled in nursing school
at UMKC in 2015, while helping out as a coach at local high schools.
He became a GA at Division II Midwestern State in Wichita Falls,
Texas after the 2019 season.
In the spring, Charlton left his job to work as a nurse in New
York. He worked 12-hour shifts, seeing things that no man or woman
should have to see.
In June, with daily cases in New York having fallen from around
5,000 to roughly 1,000, Charlton returned to his home in Kansas,
and then to his day job at Midwestern State.
By late July, Charlton had left for a job at Arkansas State.
Just two weeks later, he left for Ennis, Texas to work as a COVID-19
response team nurse.
"Football will always be there and that's my future," Charlton
said during an ESPN College GameDay feature on Sept. 26. "But right
now I need to see this through and do what I can to help."
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 Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson (2019), SUNY Cortland
linebacker Kyle Richard (2018), Wisconsin safety D'Cota Dixon (2017),
Pitt running back James Conner (2016), 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 380-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 Jan. 2, 2021. The Orange Bowl also led a community-wide effort
to bring the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship
to South Florida. It will be played on Jan. 11, 2021 (2021miami.com).
For more information on the 2020-2021 Orange Bowl events, including
promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program
presented by Panera Bread, log on to
or follow @OrangeBowl on social media.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,200 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
2020 Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Oct. 28: Jon Dietzen, Wisconsin
Nov. 4: Alex Charlton, Midwestern State/Arkansas State
Nov. 11: D'Eriq King, Miami
Nov. 18: Kentucky Wildcats
One Orange Bowl Courage Award