DALLAS (FWAA) — Pitt’s Tre Tipton is this week's nominee for the 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Tipton, a seventh-year senior, has overcome several deaths in his family and multiple serious injuries while becoming a champion for mental health for student-athletes on Pitt’s campus. Tre_Tipton_Award

Tipton, along with Pitt student Elee Khalil, started a support group for Pitt student-athletes to speak about their experiences dealing with adversity called “L.O.V.E.” — Living Out Victoriously Everyday.

"Seeing the different people bond, and telling each other things that they haven't talked about in a long time, it allowed me to feel more comfortable to open up about what I was going through," Tipton told ESPN.com in October. "That organization, I can say it saved me. It saved me from going back into that deep dark depression because I understood that there were people out there that also feel the way that I do."

Tipton dealt with numerous tragedies growing up, as he lost his father’s girlfriend, his great uncle, his aunt and a close friend. This past summer, his mother, Kim Tipton, died of a heart attack. Tipton suffered knee injuries in 2015 and 2017 that limited him to four games, total, during those two seasons. He was on the verge of committing suicide multiple times.

L.O.V.E., along with counseling, have helped Tipton process his grief. He hopes to honor his mother’s memory and help others who are dealing with similar struggles to his.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Tipton had two catches for 14 yards in this past week’s win over North Carolina. He has 38 career catches for 389 yards and two touchdowns as he heads into the home stretch of his college career, with the Panthers in position to clinch the ACC Coastal division crown with a win Saturday against Virginia.

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 analyst Alex Charlton (2020), 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 through its Orange Bowl Cares program: Youth Sports, Education, Community Engagement and Legacy Programs. Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 31, 2021. For more information on the 2021 Orange Bowl events, including promotional inquiries and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org or follow @OrangeBowl on social media.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or tiger@fwaa.com.

2021 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 22: McKenzie Milton, Florida State
• Sept. 29: Yohance Burnett, Tulsa
• Oct. 6: J.J. Weaver, Kentucky
• Oct. 13: Elijah Hicks, Cal
• Oct. 20: Eli Thomas
• Oct. 27: Taijh Alston
• Nov. 3: Utah Utes Football Team
• Nov. 10: Vederian Lowe


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