Duke’s Holliday Nominated for Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Sports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Orange Bowl Committee November 21, 2012: 

DALLAS (FWAA) – Duke’s Blair Holliday is the weekly nominee for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Holliday, a sophomore wide receiver from Sherman Oaks, Calif., is recovering from a traumatic brain injury that left him critically injured last summer.

Holliday was injured in a jet-ski accident on July 4 on Lake Tillery, about 50 miles east of Charlotte, N.C., while on an outing with friends. Teammate Jamison Crowder’s jet-ski collided with his, striking Holliday in the head. He was unconscious and briefly lost a pulse but was revived by CPR performed by a nursing student, Chelsea Gibbons, who witnessed the accident.

In a coma – and then battling pneumonia – Holliday initially wasn’t expected to live. After a month at the University of North Carolina Trauma Center, he was transferred to the Sheppard Center in Atlanta, which specializes in rehabilitation of brain injuries. He had to relearn almost every physical activity, including walking and talking, but his recovery quickly accelerated to well ahead of schedule. A month later, he left the Sheppard Center, though he continued the rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.

Holliday served as an honorary team captain before the Blue Devils’ game with North Carolina Central on Sept. 15, leading them into Wallace Wade Stadium.

“Blair is a miracle,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe told the News & Observer. “Right now, our focus is on getting him enrolled back in school. Let’s try some schoolwork and see how he accomplishes those tasks.”

Holliday plans to return to classes at Duke in January. He hopes to play football again, though if it doesn’t happen, he told The Sporting News, “I won’t be bummed.”

“I’ve come far, I can go farther,” Holliday told The Sporting News. “I realize if I’m maybe a quarter of the way there, I need to be 100 percent. Maybe I’m not the best I can be now, but I can get to that point.”

For the seventh straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover 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 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy during the week of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.

The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an 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 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).


2012 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees

  •  Sept. 26: Daniel Rodriguez, Clemson 
  •  Oct. 3: Angelo Richardson, Arizona State 
  •  Oct. 10: Patience Beard, Arkansas 
  •  Oct. 17: Neiron Ball, Florida 
  •  Oct. 31: Dan Werner, Mississippi 
  •  Nov. 8: Jay Prosch, Auburn 
  •  Nov. 15: Austin Woods, Oklahoma 
  •  Nov. 21: Blair Holliday, Duke 
  • Ryan Trapp This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 305-341-4734 

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BCS Standings Week 14

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Sports

Here are the BCS Standings.  How did your team finish the season?



Notre Dame










Kansas State






Texas A&M


South Carolina






Florida State




Oregon State




Kent State






Boise State


Northern Illinois




Oklahoma State


Utah State


San Jose State

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Johnny Manziel: Got Heisman?

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Sports

With a rousing victory over Missouri last night Texas A&M locked up an impressive season with their 59-29 win.

Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel, now better known as "Johnny Football" also impressed once again, and had fans on edge as he left the field late in the first quarter with a possible knee injury.  He returned fitted with a knee brace to shatter Cam Newton's Heisman Trophy record and lead his team to victory.

Manziel was 32/44 passes for a total of 372 yards and in true "Johnny Football" style he carried the ball 12 times to add 67 rushing yards to his impressive freshman season.  Manziel threw only one interception and racked up 5 touchdowns.

It will be up to the voting media, former Heisman winners and fans who participate in the ESPN on-line poll (one vote) to determine who receives this year's trophy.  A freshman has never been awarded the Heisman, but this year Johnny Manziel may be the first to receive the award.

I hope Cam Newton votes for "Johnny Football" because he knows what it takes to get to that record now broken by a freshman quarterback in an impressive first year in the SEC.

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Will Chizik have a future at Auburn?

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Sports

Tuscaloosa will yield excitement today for Alabama fans as they close out their regular season play and move closer to a BCS Championship.  And while fans for Auburn face a dismal season end, they also face a winless SEC season, and that leads to the obvious question:  Will Gene Chizik have a future at Auburn?

Chizik, the Tommy Tuberville era replacement and former Florida player, whose salary of just over 3.5 million garners him a spot in the top ten highest paid college coaches almost certainly faces an immediate release if his team loses today to the Crimson Tide.

Auburn has faced ridicule in the tough Southeastern Conference for their performance.  So badly is the sentiment of fans it even ventured into the political world as they signed a petition for President Obama to intervene, and fire both Chizik and Athletic Director Jay Jacobs via the We the People website.

While a loss seems all but a formality in Tuscaloosa, we await the press release post game to decree Chizik's fate as head coach.

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Smith will not return to Arkansas as Head Coach

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Sports

Jeff Long, Athletic Director for Arkansas, announced today that interim football coach John L. Smith will not return next season as head coach for the Razorbacks.

Smith was hired last April to head the program after Arkansas fired head coach Bobby Petrino when a scandal plagued his career.

Arkansas (4-8, 2-6 SEC) ended their 2012 season unranked while narrowly losing to LSU Friday.

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