Wednesday October 17, 2012Ball Named To Discover Orange Bowl–FWAA Courage Award
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (Jackson, Ga.) has been named the weekly nominee to the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, announced by the organization on Wednesday.
Ball returned to the Gators this season after taking a medical redshirt in 2011 due to a rare condition known as Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), a condition in which blood vessels in the brain become tangled and eventually rupture. Ball experienced a rupture during spring workouts in February 2011, which required noninvasive brain surgery and forced him to miss all of last season.
He has since made a full recovery and has played in every game for Gators in 2012 recording eight tackles, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup. The two fumble recoveries ties him 26th in the nation in fumble recoveries and second in the SEC. In addition, Ball has made two starts for the Orange and Blue.
With the nomination, Ball is now a finalist for the annual award that was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, 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. 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.