ECU linebacker nominated for Courage Award


DALLAS (FWAA) - East Carolina outside linebacker Gabe Woullard is the second weekly nominee for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award that will be announced at the end of the season.

Woullard, a 6-3, 227-pound senior, became an East Carolina starter for the final eight games of the 2012 season and has never given up the spot. He has survived to play despite his family’s ordeal during Hurricane Katrina, his father’s absence while serving in Iraq, and a playing career that has led him to three high schools and three colleges because of the aforementioned events.

“Moving around just made me stronger, made me jump into a new situation and learn fast,” Woullard told The Greenville Daily Reflector. “I’ve seen a lot. I’ve taken that and brought it here.”

 In 2005, when Katrina hit the Mississippi Coast, Woullard’s home in Biloxi’s back bay took a direct hit from the storm’s surge. The family escaped unharmed, but the house was badly damaged. His father returned from serving in Iraq and took the family to the Los Angeles where he fulfilled a dream and became a police officer.

Woullard played three years of high school football at two different California high schools. He left for the Chicago area for his senior season and played at Oak Park-River Forest High School. He then attended Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater as a freshman and was part of a national championship team. He headed back to Pierce College in California for his sophomore season where he was recruited by East Carolina. He is the third Pirate in school history to be nominated for the FWAA Courage Award joining Terrance Campbell (2008) and Rock Roggeman (2009).

For the eighth straight year, the FWAA and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce weekly nominees during the season.


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