DALLAS (FWAA) - Tulsa's Wilson Holloway is this week's nominee for the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Holloway, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Oklahoma City, was diagnosed with cancer last spring, underwent chemotherapy treatment throughout the spring and summer, and is playing on special teams and in a reserve role for the Golden Hurricane.
Holloway was considered to have a bright future, but Tulsa coaches were concerned when he had trouble during offseason workouts last winter. He struggled to breathe after sprints.
"I just thought I was out of shape," Holloway told the Tulsa World.
But tests revealed a softball-sized tumor, which was diagnosed as Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Holloway had difficulty breathing because the tumor was pressing against his lungs.
Holloway began undergoing biweekly chemo treatments March 21. Though he initially lost 20 pounds, he's regained that and added 20 more, up to 275.
Holloway did not participate in spring practice, but continued with conditioning workouts. He returned to practice for preseason camp and underwent his last chemo treatment on Aug. 22, eight days before the Golden Hurricane opened the season.
"He's just so tough and courageous," Tulsa coach Todd Graham told the newspaper. "He's always had a positive mindset and a game plan. He has done a good job of whipping (cancer) so far."
For the third straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx 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 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also a 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.