Miami's Knighton Nominated for Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award


Hunter_KnightonMiami’s Hunter Knighton is this week’s nominee for the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Knighton, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman, returned to action for the Hurricanes this season after missing all of last season because of a nearly fatal heat stroke.

"The worst memory of the hospital was when I first woke up I couldn't breathe," Knighton told the Associated Press in August. "I had the tube in there; it was like I was suffocating. Every breath I thought was going to be my last. I was trapped in my body. Couldn't talk. Couldn't breathe. Everything was fuzzy. It felt like I was dying."

During conditioning drills on Feb. 24, 2014, Knighton collapsed. Unbeknownst to the lineman, he had been fighting through the flu. His temperature rose to 109 degrees. He was in a coma for 12 days, and he lost 55 pounds in his sleep.

Knighton overcame significant physical and mental hurdles over the ensuing 18 months to return to both the classroom and to the field, making his debut in Miami’s season opener this year against Bethune-Cookman.

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 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).


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