Minnesota's Mike Sherels Nominated for Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award


Sherels-Mike-244Minnesota’s Mike Sherels is this week’s nominee for the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Sherels suffered through a life-threatening intestinal illness in August that required multiple surgeries. The Golden Gophers’ linebackers coach had more than 18 feet of his small intestine removed, in addition to the right side of his colon and his transverse colon removed. He lost 50 pounds. He couldn’t eat. Sherels was told that he might be in the hospital for up to six months, but he ended up leaving shortly after his final surgery.

The 32-year-old gradually worked his way back to his job with the Gophers, and he assumed full duties for the Oct. 8 game against rival Iowa.

“31 wasn’t my favorite year but I’m heading into this next one with an entirely new outlook on life which just makes everything sweeter,” Sherels said in a Twitter post on his birthday, Oct. 29. “Don’t let anyone ever tell you what your limitations are. The moment you accept what others tell you is the moment you are the one holding yourself back. #EmbraceHARD”

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).


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