Michigan State’s Tyson Smith was nominated this week for the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
The junior cornerback returned to the field this season after suffering a stroke in late November of last year and has appeared in all 11 games this season for No. 21 Michigan State. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the season-opener against Bowling Green and started last week against Maryland.
“The feeling when I stepped on the field, it was more than football, it was a blessing,” Smith said after the Bowling Green game. “I’m still me and I felt normal, but I didn’t know for sure if I was normal. It’s just a blessing.”
Smith has five tackles, including 1.5 for loss, to go with one pass break-up. He also recovered a muffed punt return in the fourth quarter of an Oct. 28 game at Northwestern.
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.