UVA's Phillips, brothers nominated for award

Virginia tight end Colter Phillips and his two brothers shared the weekly nomination for the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

From Virginia's release:

Phillips, along with his older brother Andrew and younger brother Paul, of Darnestown, Md., lost their father, William D. "Bill" Phillips, in a plane crash in Alaska last August.

Andrew is a fifth-year senior and starting guard at Stanford and Paul is a freshman tight end redshirting this season at Indiana. They were preparing for the start of the college football season when tragedy struck.

Their younger brother, Willy Phillips, 13, was one of four survivors. Five people were killed, including former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska; Bill Phillips, 56, a former college football player at Evansville, had worked on Stevens' staff from 1981-86. The plane crash occurred on a remote mountainside during a salmon fishing trip.

All three brothers considered whether to play football this season, but decided to return to school and play. Andrew Phillips is a three-year starter at guard for the 9-1 Cardinal. Colter Phillips has moved into the Cavaliers' starting lineup due to the season-ending injury to Joe Torchia -- he is currently tied for second on the squad with three touchdown catches.

I don't vote for this award, but as a member of the FWAA, I presented the trophy to Connecticut coach Randy Edsall during the Orange Bowl last year, and it would be an honor to present it to the Phillips brothers if they're chosen. Having spoken to Colter this year, he is definitely the epitome of courage.