Penn State's Zettel Nominated for Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award

 

8927284Penn State’s Anthony Zettel is this week’s nominee for the 2015 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

Zettel, a 6-foot-4, 284-pound defensive tackle from West Branch, Mich., earned Big Ten defensive player of the week honors for his performance Saturday, one day after the loss of his father, Terry, 46, who died after a 19-month battle with stage-four cancer.

“There was no pressure for him to play the last three weeks,” Nittany Lions Head Football Coach James Franklin said after the game. “That was up to him. I felt like that’s what his family -- his dad -- would’ve wanted him to do.”

Zettel recorded a career-high seven tackles in Penn State’s 37-21 win over San Diego State. Of those tackles, 2.5 were behind the line of scrimmage. Zettel added a fumble recovery and a pass break-up.

Zettel_Anthony_(H-15-MS)_1823The redshirt senior drove home after each game the last three weeks to spend time with his father and family. The memorial service for Zettel’s father was Sunday, September 27.

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 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are 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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