Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Five from Big 12 up for Rudy Awards
By ESPN.com staff
Five players from the Big 12 have been nominated for Rudy Awards, an award established by former Notre Dame player Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the subject of the film "Rudy."
The awards is reserved for players who bring "something extra" to the team.
Says the awards committee, which began handing out the honors in 2007:
"Rudy wanted to find the most inspirational and motivational players in America who best defined what he refers to as "The Four C's": Character, Courage, Contribution & Commitment."
Here are the five nominees:
Andrew Gachkar, LB, Missouri: Gachkar needed surgery to repair a life-threatening blood clotting problem that required the removal of a rib. His other option was to quit football. He eventually lost 30 pounds during the recovery process, but returned to the field and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention this season.
Alex Henery, K, Nebraska
Michael Hodges, LB, Texas A&M: Hodges walked on to Texas A&M after transferring from Air Force, and caught coaches' eyes in the spring of 2009, but suffered a knee injury on the last day of spring practice. He played injured in 2009, and returned to be one of the defense's top talents in 2010.
Steven Johnson, LB, Kansas: The former walk-on has battled a handful of injuries, but stayed on the team and became one of the defense's leaders in 2010.
William Powell, RB/KR, Kansas State: Powell was a walk-on junior college player who also walked on at Kansas State after earning the starting job in junior college. His mother died during his junior year, but Powell dedicated his performance to her and became the top backup to star Daniel Thomas in 2010 and led the nation in kick returns.
See the full list of nominees and their stories here.