DALLAS -- Kentucky running back Josh Clemons is the fourth weekly nominee for the 2014 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Clemons, a 5-foot-10, 223-pound junior from Fayetteville, Georgia (Whitewater High School), has overcome two major surgeries - one to his knee and one to his Achilles tendon. The injuries kept him off the field in a regular-season game for more than 1,000 days before returning to the field this season for the Kentucky Wildcats.
"I never thought football was over," Clemons told CatsPause.com. "I didn't know how long it would take me to get back, but somehow, some way I was going to find a way to get back."
Clemons, whose father Charlie played in the National Football League for three different teams, has appeared in three of the Wildcats' five games this season and has carried the ball seven times and gained 32 yards. He was redshirted while rehabilitating the knee the entire 2012 season after suffering the knee injury midway through his freshman year in 2011 when he was leading the team in rushing. The Achilles injury occurred in fall camp before the 2013 season started, and he had to sit out another year with an injury.
The Courage Award was first presented by the 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 Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
2014 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 17: Deon Hill, Georgia Tech
• Sept. 24: Ian Frye, Virginia
• Oct. 1: Zach Golditch, Colorado State
• Oct. 8: Josh Clemons, Kentucky