Ricky Dobbs (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
DALLAS (FWAA) - Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs is the weekly nominee for the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season by the Football Writers Association of America.
Dobbs, a senior from Douglasville, Ga., has overcome a difficult family situation to thrive as a leader at the Naval Academy.
Dobbs, who is vice president of the senior class, has a goal of becoming President of the United States - after serving in the military and winning a Super Bowl. He came to Annapolis after being raised by an uncle. His mother battled addictions to drugs and alcohol, and nearly died during open-heart surgery. Dobbs credits faith and family for his success.
Last season, Dobbs broke Tim Tebow's record for touchdowns by a quarterback. He underwent surgery last January to repair a cracked kneecap but returned this season to lead the Midshipmen to a 5-3 record, including their third win over Notre Dame in four seasons. Dobbs scored three touchdowns in the win.
"In the bigger scheme of things, Ricky represents the outreach and the recruiting that, 'Wow, I can go play football and get a good education. I can serve,'" Cmd. Master Chief Evelyn "Vonn" Banks told the Washington Post. "Part of our development is to develop good American citizens as well, so Ricky represents so many more things than the quarterback for football."
For the fifth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The recipient of the Courage Award will be announced in December and presented with the trophy in conjunction with this year's Discover Orange Bowl.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an FWAA member. A select group of FWAA members vote on the recipient 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 the Connecticut Huskies (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane Green Wave (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
The Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 343-member, primarily-volunteer organization. It is a self-sustaining, independent organization that supports and produces activities and events that enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida. The Orange Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3, 2011. Other OBC core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series. For more information on the 2010-11 Orange Bowl Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program, visit www.orangebowl.org.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.