clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Collegiate Football Players Overcoming Adversity

Justin Tuck will serve as the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Ambassador

Washington v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In a press release today from the Mayo Clinic, Justin Tuck (Notre Dame Fighting Irish LEGEND) will serve as the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Ambassador. The award is presented by CoSIDA, the Mayo Clinic, The Associated Press, and the Fiesta Bowl Organization to honor players at all levels of college football. $30,000 will be donated to general scholarship funds and three winners will be honored at the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. The following press release is from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award

“The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization, will again recognize 30 college football student-athletes who have overcome adversity with the 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 will be recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees. A panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated will select the honorees, who have overcome injury, illness or other challenges. CoSIDA members can nominate student-athletes through Nov. 12, 2019 at”

“At the end of the season, three student-athletes will be chosen as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners and $30,000 will be donated to the general scholarship funds for nine student-athletes selected as finalists, with $15,000 being awarded in the names of the three winners and $15,000 on behalf of the six named honorable mention. The three honorees will also be recognized at a special ceremony during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ.”

We thank Mayo Clinic for helping us share the personal stories of student-athletes who have overcome adversity to get back onto the field,’ says Doug Vance, executive director of CoSIDA. ‘Our goal is to help fans better appreciate the roads these student-athletes have traveled. We hope these stories of achievement can inspire other people to meet the challenges in their own lives.’

We understand how challenging it can be for student-athletes to return from injury or illness,’ says Dr. Michael Stuart, co-director Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. ‘We are honored to be part of this award that recognizes qualities like motivation, determination and perseverance.

Ambassador, Justin Tuck

“Justin Tuck, a 2-time Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants, will serve as the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Ambassador. While at Notre Dame, Tuck suffered a serious knee injury at the end of his junior season. He returned to the field for his senior season and despite the lingering knee problem, was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Tuck suffered several serious injuries during his NFL career but came back strong each time to record career totals of 66.5 sacks and 510 tackles in 147 career games. He was inducted in the Giants Ring of Honor in 2016.”

“Last season, Antwan Dixon of Kent State University, Seth Simmer of Dartmouth College and Antonio Wimbush of Carson-Newman University were named the inaugural Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award Winners. Dixon returned to the field after missing two seasons with a rare blood disorder that required a bone marrow transplant; Simmer returned from a brain tumor; and Wimbush led the South Atlantic Conference with 1,206 yards rushing after missing the 2017 season with an ACL injury. The six student-athletes recognized as honorable mentions included: David Blough (Purdue University), Eric Dungey (Syracuse University), Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech), Josh Poplar (Tennessee Tech), Sam Shook (Ohio Northern University) and Austin Tillman (Washburn University). For a complete list of honorees, visit”

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”

About Associated Press: “The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the web:”

About the Fiesta Bowl Organization: “The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year-round, during and outside of bowl season. In the month of December, the organization manages the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl Parade. On the web:

Cheers & GO IRISH!