Rochester, Minn. (November 5) -- The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization, have selected three college football student-athletes -- Alex Martinez of Saint Xavier University, Sam Philippi of the University of Pennsylvania and Will Roberts (Sacramento, Calif.) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as nominees for the 2019 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Ten times during the 2019 college football season, three inspiring student-athletes from all levels of college football, who have overcome injury, illness or other challenges, will be recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees by a panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated. CoSIDA members can nominate student-athletes at Comeback-Player.com.
Previous nominees are: Ashton Antwine (Northeastern State), Kaleb Barker (Troy), Shaq Bond (Utah State), Jamieson Craske (Stetson), Aaron Crawford (UNC), Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame), Frazier Daniel (Mount Union), Jonathan Haden (UAB), Jaquan Hemphill (Hardin-Simmons), Justin Herron (Wake Forest), Caleb Huntley (Ball State), Jake Luton (Oregon State), Deiontae Nicholas (Wayne State), Josh Paschal (Kentucky), Isaiah Pola-Mao (USC), CJ Sanders (SMU), Hunter Spriggs (Chapman University), La'Andre Thomas (Memphis), Amadeo West (Army), Isaiah Weston (Northern Iowa), Drew Wilson (Georgia Southern), Octavion Wilson (Salisbury), Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota) and D.J. Wonnum (South Carolina).
At the end of the season, three of the nominees will be chosen as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners and will be recognized at a special ceremony during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Additionally, $30,000 will be donated in the names of the nine student-athletes selected as finalists to their school's general scholarship fund, with $15,000 being awarded in the names of the three winners and $15,000 on behalf of the six named honorable mention.
An offensive lineman for the Engineers, Roberts broke both of his legs in a 2018 NCAA Tournament game at Johns Hopkins University. He left the stadium in an ambulance and later had surgery to repair his injuries while remaining in Baltimore for a week at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Incredibly, after months in a wheelchair and extensive rehab, Roberts missed just one game this season before returning to the lineup in a road win at Becker College. The Engineers are now 5-2 overall and 4-1 in NEWMAC play as the team has moved into a three-way tie for first place in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings with two regular-season games remaining.
"We understand how challenging it can be for student-athletes to return from injury or illness," says Dr. Michael Stuart, co-director for Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. "We are honored to be part of this award that recognizes qualities like motivation, determination and perseverance."
About Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit comprehensive organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo Clinic. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
About CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America): CoSIDA was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000+ member national organization comprised of the sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. The organization is the second oldest management association in intercollegiate athletics. To learn more, visit cosida.com.