Kentucky’s Courtney Love is this week’s nominee for the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Love, a senior linebacker, has overcome an unstable home situation as a child and turned it into a passion for mentoring children.
Love ran away from home at the age of nine because of what he calls a “complicated and toxic” relationship with his mother. He ran to his paternal grandmother’s house and never returned, before living with his dad Cory, Cory’s girlfriend and three half-sisters. His dad ended up in prison for two years while Courtney was in middle school. (Cory, a former U.S. Marine, now owns a successful industrial cleaning business in Youngstown, Ohio.)
“My mom just wasn’t doing things right,” Love said in a Kentucky Wildcats TV feature. “She was kind of in the streets and not living right, and my dad didn’t like that. And for me as a young kid I didn’t really know, but it was something I could see a little bit and I knew I wanted to be with somebody who had my best interest, and ultimately that was my father.”
Love currently leads the Wildcats in community service hours. He regularly serves as a mentor at Amachi Central Kentucky, a program that pairs adults with area children who have one or both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way.
A member of the Allstate AFC Good Works Team, Love recorded seven tackles in Kentucky’s win Saturday against Tennessee. The 6-foot-2, 242-pounder is second on the team with 58 tackles, including two for loss, and he has two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries as well.
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 are Pittsburgh running back James Conner (2016), Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez (2012), Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa’s Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy’s Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson’s Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis’ Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State’s Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo’s William Bratton (2002).
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2017. For more information on the 2017-18 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
- Sept. 13: J-Shun Harris II, Indiana | High-resolution headshot
- Sept. 20: William Lee, Northern Illinois | High-resolution headshot
- Sept. 27: Cristian Garcia, Florida | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 4: D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 11: Jake Olson, USC | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 18: Darian Roseboro, NC State | High-resolution headshot
- Oct. 25: Sean Savoy, Virginia Tech | High-resolution headshot
- Nov. 1: Courtney Love, Kentucky | High-resolution headshot
By: University of Kentucky Athletics Department
Photo Courtesy of University of Kentucky Athletics Department