Fort Worth, Texas, November 5 – Ex-Marine Jason Everding of the University of the Incarnate Word has been announced as the second of two finalists for the 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”
The award’s selection committee is made up of five FWAA members, including president Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman, and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The group reviewed 15 “candidates” for the 2014 honor where the 28-year old Everding joins 27-year old Army veteran Daniel Rodriguez of Clemson as finalists for the award.
Rodriguez, a wide receiver and special team performers for the past three seasons at Clemson, was announced last week as the first of two finalists for the 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA. This year’s recipient being announced this Veteran’s Day, November 11. Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was named the initial recipient of the award in 2012 with Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas topping the AFMA list last year.
Everding is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound starting offensive guard for Incarnate Word as the San Antonio-based school is in their second season of Football Championship Subdivision play as the Cardinals are fielding a football team for only the sixth year.
“Jason Everding is a fabulous human being who is also a very fine offensive lineman,” said UIW’s Larry Kennan, who has been coaching for over 40 years at both the college and professional level. “He has helped our team as a player and a person who truly understands what a Team is, and is a great example of what a man should act like and be!”
A kinesiology major and psychology minor at Incarnate Word, Everding played in only six games for the Cardinals in 2013 due to a season-ending knee-injury against Southeastern Louisiana. He has started all eight games for UIW this season. Before moving to Texas and enrolling at Incarnate Word, Everding played two seasons at San Diego Mesa College where he was a two-way starter and the team’s “Ironman” for the 2011 and 2012 campaigns.
After being an all-region football player at Bismarck Century High where he graduated in 2004 from the North Dakota school, Everding worked two years before enlisting in the U. S. Marine Corp where he served four years and was deployed twice to Iraq where he saw combat as a forward observer for an artillery unit.
In an October 2013 article in the Bismarck Tribune, Everding said the he Marines appealed to him because boot camp is longer and more difficult than basic training. “I wanted to accomplish something no one else can,” Everding said. “In four years, I grew tremendously. Not only dealing with the whole discipline aspect, but seeing different parts of the world and dealing with different people who helped me grow.”
Everding also noted in the article that “the military has helped me. There is a team atmosphere. Everybody is close with each other. When you spend that many hours a day together, you bond. Once I got out, I missed that. I get that now with my team.”
NOTE – The recipient of the 2014 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America will be announced Tuesday, November 11. A teleconference will be held at 11 a.m. (CT, 12 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. MT and 9 a.m. PT). The 2014 recipient (Jason Everding of the University of the Incarnate Word or Daniel Rodriguez of Clemson) will be joined on the teleconference by representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Brant Ringler) and the FWAA (Steve Richardson or Kirk Bohls). The toll-free call-in number is 877/290-0784 with a conference code – 680 251 7943.
Tim Simmons, Armed Force Merit Award Coordinator