Oklahoma State defensive tackle Vincent Taylor is this week's nominee for the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, the Orange Bowl Committee announced Wednesday.
Taylor, who has been a crucial part of the Cowboy defense, and his family lost their home 11 years ago in Hurricane Katrina and relocated to San Antonio. The Taylors had initially stayed in New Orleans for about a week after the hurricane hit, and during that time the then-10-year-old Taylor witnessed a number of gruesome images.
Now a redshirt junior defensive tackle, Taylor has started 18 straight games for the Cowboys, including this past Saturday's 49-31 win over Texas, when he blocked two Longhorns extra point attempts. On the first block, Taylor scooped the ball up and then pitched it back to teammate Tre Flowers for a two-point return.
Last season, Taylor recorded 48 tackles and five sacks, the highest single-season totals by any interior lineman in the Mike Gundy era. Taylor already has 16 tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries this season.
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.