Oct. 30, 2013
DALLAS, (FWAA)- Missouri senior wide receiver L'Damian Washington is the weekly nominee for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award that will be announced at the end of the season.
Washington, the rangy 6-foot-4 wide receiver from Shreveport, Louisiana, has been the emotional leader for the 10th-ranked Tigers this season after a tumultuous upbringing that included the murder of his father when he was five years old. A decade later his mother, Sonya, only 38, died after complications with a blood clot.
Washington, the second youngest of four brothers, was left to help raise the family with his two older brothers. The fourth brother is still in high school. They bonded and stayed together, despite attempts to split them up. And when it came time for L'Damian to accept a college scholarship, after initially planning on attending nearby Louisiana Tech, his brothers encouraged him to go to Missouri.
Washington has overcome all the obstacles and has a resume that ranks him among the top receivers in college football. Through eight games this season, he leads the Tigers with 635 yards receiving on 33 catches (a 19.2 yards-a-catch average) and has eight touchdown receptions.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN`s senior columnist Gene Wojciechowski, also a FWAA member. 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.
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are 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).
2013 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 25: Eric Fieilo, Sam Houston State
Oct. 2: Gabe Woullard, East Carolina
Oct. 9: Bryson James, South Alabama
Oct. 16: Anthony Larceval, San Jose State
Oct. 23: Jim Weaver, Virginia Tech
Oct. 30: L'Damian Washington, Missouri