Nov. 8, 2012
DALLAS (FWAA) - Auburn's Jay Prosch is the weekly nominee for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Prosch, a junior fullback from Mobile, Ala., is playing this season after the death of his mother Sept. 3.
Prosch played two years at Illinois, but transferred to Auburn to be able to spend more time with his mother. Iris Prosch was diagnosed in 2011 with Grade 4 brain cancer. She told the Associated Press last spring, "There really aren't words to express how comforting it is" to have her son nearby.
Jay Prosch was granted a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately at Auburn. The day before the season opener, his mother slipped into a coma. He played against Clemson Sept. 1, then drove to Mobile, arriving in the early morning hours Sept. 2. He was with his mother when she died.
Prosch attended classes the next day, telling others his mother wouldn't want him missing studies or practice time. After a memorial service on Thursday, Sept. 6, he returned to Auburn in time to travel with the team to Starkville, Miss., to play Mississippi State. After the game, he told Al.com: "She was on my mind, but not in a bad way. In a good way."
Prosch has developed into a reliable short-yardage option for Auburn. He has five carries for 17 yards and four catches for 18 yards, and scored his first college touchdown last week against New Mexico State.
For the seventh straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy during the week of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an 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 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).