Fort Worth, Texas, November 7 — Led by the Kansas State football program, the finalists have been named for the 2017 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
A nominee for the Armed Forces Merit Award since 2013, the Kansas State football team has been a finalist for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl and FWAA recognition the past two years.
The Kansas State relationship with Fort Riley started in 2006 when Lt. Col. Patrick Frank approached former Wildcat coach Ron Prince about partnering his soldiers with the Kansas State student-athletes. The partnership has continued with legendary Wildcat coach Bill Snyder.
Other finalists for the 2017 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA, are Jose Renderoskeiffer, a Navy veteran and a graduate linebacker at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rory Coleman, an Army veteran and senior defensive lineman at the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Chris Howard, a retired Air Force reserve lieutenant colonel and the President at Robert Morris University. Dr. Howard also serves as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
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.”
With 38 nominations considered this fall, the award’s selection committee of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will determine the 2017 recipient.
Marine veteran Steven Rhodes, a defensive end at Middle Tennessee State University where he competed four seasons for the Blue Raiders, was honored last November as the fifth recipient of Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA.
Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was named the initial recipient of the award in 2012 followed by Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014 and Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) in 2015. All four individuals were U. S. Army veterans before playing college