Oklahoma State's Vincent Taylor Nominated for Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

 

TaylorV1603-OSUAthleticsOklahoma State’s Vincent Taylor is this week’s nominee for the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Taylor and his family lost their home 11 years ago in Hurricane Katrina, forcing them to relocate to San Antonio. The Taylors had initially stayed back in New Orleans for about a week after the hurricane hit, and during that time the then-10-year-old Taylor witnessed a number of gruesome images, including floating bodies, rampant crime and even a gun pointed at his head by a police officer, according to OSU’s student newspaper, the O’Colly.

Now a redshirt junior defensive tackle, Taylor has started 18 straight games for the Cowboys, including this past Saturday’s 49-31 win over Texas, when he blocked two Longhorns extra point attempts. On the first block, Taylor scooped the ball up and then pitched it back to teammate Tre Flowers for a two-point return.

“It taught me a huge lesson just knowing that I could have been dead and gone,” Vincent told the O’Colley in 2015 of his upbringing. “But just having faith, it got me where I am today. Going through Katrina and just seeing what was going on around me taught me a huge lesson.”

Last season, Taylor recorded 48 tackles and five sacks, the highest single-season totals by any interior lineman in the coach Mike Gundy era, which began in 2005. Taylor already has 16 tackles, two sacks and two quarterback hurries this season.

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 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).

 

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