Nebraska's Jovan Dewitt Named as Eleventh Nominee for the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. –Nebraska’s Jovan Dewitt is this week’s nominee for the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Dewitt, the Cornhuskers’ outside linebackers and special teams coach, returned to the field this season after being diagnosed with throat cancer in January.
“For me, it’s my ultimate release, being on the grass coaching ball and working with our guys,” Dewitt told the Associated Press in August. “To be out there is a complete relief for me.”
The 44-year-old Dewitt noticed a lump on his neck last winter. Multiple tests revealed that he had cancer. He underwent 38 rounds of radiation and three rounds of chemotherapy, according to the AP, and he was hospitalized for most of April.
Dewitt lost more than 100 pounds. He missed most of spring ball but kept in touch with his players and fellow coaches. He was cleared to return in August, just in time for fall camp. He still carries around a backpack with water that he sips from because he is unable to produce saliva.
The Huskers held Maryland to seven points in this past Saturday’s win, with kickers Matt Waldoch and Harrison Martin combining to hit all four field goal attempts in the 54-7 triumph. For the season, Nebraska ranks fourth in the Big Ten in punt returns and is surrendering just 2.27 yards per return, good for third in the conference.
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.
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