Salisbury's Octavion Wilson Named as Twelfth Nominee for 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award
MIAMI LAKES, FL. – Salisbury’s (MD) Octavion Wilson is this week’s nominee for the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Wilson, a senior receiver, leads the Sea Gulls in catches and receiving yards after overcoming a heart condition and a nerve condition that threatened to cripple him both physically and mentally.
“I thank God every day,” Wilson told the (Salisbury) Daily Times of all he has overcome. “If you’re going through anything, literally anything, all you have to do is look to the heavens and let him take care of you. If something happens in my life, it’s just something else I can overcome.”
Wilson originally enrolled at Mount Union out of Milford (Del.) High, but midway through his second season he began to experience some chest pains. He was diagnosed with pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the lining around the heart.
As Wilson attempted a comeback in 2016, Wilson experienced more chest pains, which led to a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, a neuromuscular disease that would cause him to lose feeling in different parts of his body. He attempted suicide on multiple occasions.
Wilson had a spiritual awakening in January of 2018. His health improved, both physically and mentally. He leaned on his support system and worked his way back to the field and toward his degree in engineering physics, as he transferred to Salisbury, which is closer to home.
The 6-foot, 212-pounder has 22 catches for 393 yards this season. His three touchdown receptions are tied for the team-high. Salisbury has defeated Maritime (N.Y.) and Union (N.Y.) in the first and second round of the NCAA’s Division III playoffs, respectively, and the 11-0 Sea Gulls meet 12-0 Muhlenberg this Saturday in the quarterfinals.
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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