DALLAS — Houston’s Marquez Stevenson is this week’s nominee for the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Stevenson, a redshirt sophomore, has overcome three injuries from his first two college seasons to become the Cougars’ leading receiver.
“It’s been a painful journey,” Stevenson told the Houston Chronicle. “I knew at the end of the road there was some light. I’m blessed and grateful. I know how fast this game can be taken away from you.”
Stevenson broke his collarbone during fall camp as a freshman. He got banged up when he returned, limiting his rookie campaign to two games. Then he tore the ACL in his left knee in the following spring, costing him the entire 2017 season.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Stevenson has caught team-bests of 32 passes for 472 yards. His six receiving touchdowns are tied for the team lead, too, and he has added 122 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, in addition to returning four kicks for 77 yards.
Stevenson, a Shreveport, La., native, caught three passes for 40 yards in Saturday’s 42-20 win at East Carolina to lift Houston to 5-1 overall, and 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play.
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 Wisconsin safety D’Cota Dixon (2017) Pittsburgh 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 360-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: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29, 2018. For more information on the 2018-19 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at email@example.com.
2018 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 12: John Schlarman, Kentucky | High-resolution headshot
• Sept. 19: Nic Weishar, Notre Dame | High-resolution headshot
• Sept. 26: Rex Culpepper, Syracuse | High-resolution headshot
• Oct. 3: Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech | High-resolution headshot
• Oct. 10: Antwan Dixon, Kent State | High-resolution headshot
• Oct. 17: Marquez Stevenson, Houston | High-resolution headshot
• Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award