MIAMI LAKES, FL (www.orangebowl.org) — Cortland’s Kyle Richard is this week’s nominee for the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Richard, a senior linebacker, was shot twice in the summer of 2017 after interrupting a sexual assault.
“I realize that people do want to hear my voice,” Richard said during a dating violence awareness event in the spring. “I have support from my whole football team. I have 100 guys supporting me through this, so that’s made it easy for me. But it’s still not an easy topic to talk about. It is a tough topic, but we need somebody to talk about it, especially from a male perspective.”
Richard, along with a friend,
pursued an assailant outside of a party on Long Island in July of 2017. The assailant pulled out a gun and shot at Richard three times, hitting him once in each leg. The 6-foot, 230-pound Lakeview, N.Y., native under-went intensive physical therapy and was able to return to the field and appear in 10 games that season, finishing second on the team with 75 tackles, along with 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, nine quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
The two-time captain finished the 7-3 Red Dragons’ sea-son this fall tied for the team lead in tackles, with 71, to go with seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, three passes defended, four quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery and one safety.
In April, Richard was presented with the Biden Courage Award for Bystander Intervention by former Vice President Joe Biden. Additionally, Richard has received a thank you note from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Richard has become an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault, speaking at a number of awareness events, deflecting personal attention while hoping that others follow his example and step up when presented with an opportunity to act.
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.
Previous Winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award
* 2017 — D’Cota Dixon – Wisconsin
* 2016 — James Conner – Pittsburgh
* 2015 — Hunter Knighton – Miami
* 2014 — Laken Tomlinson – Duke
* 2013 — Anthony Larceval – San Jose State
* 2012 — Daniel Rodriguez – Clemson
* 2011 — Arthur Ray – Michigan State
* 2010 — Eric LeGrand – Rutgers
* 2009 — University of Connecticut Football Team
* 2008 — Wilson Holloway – Tulsa
* 2007 — Zerbin Singleton – Navy
* 2006 — Ray Ray McElrathbey – Clemson
* 2005 — Tulane Football Team
* 2004 — Haracia Colen – Memphis
* 2003 — Neil Parry – San Jose State
* 2002 — William Bratton – Toledo
2018 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
- Sept. 12: John Schlarman, Kentucky | High-resolution headshot
- Sept. 19: Nic Weishar, Notre Dame | High-resolution headshot
- Sept. 26: Rex Culpepper, Syracuse | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 3: Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 10: Antwan Dixon, Kent State | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 17: Marquez Stevenson, Houston | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 24: Janarius Robinson, Florida State | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 24: Tre Brown, Oklahoma | High-resolution headshot
- Nov. 7: Matt Stauder, Indiana |
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