The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presented the 2014 Seminole Tribe of Florida Bobby Bowden Student Athlete of the Year Award to Baylor University’s Bryce Petty at the College Championship Breakfast Sunday, Jan. 11, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas.
Petty, quarterback for the Bears and a Midlothian, Texas, native, was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Manning Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Big 12 Player of the Year. He completed 36 of 51 passes for 550 yards at the very close 42-41 loss to Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
Bobby Bowden, former longtime head coach at Florida State University, was the featured speaker at the awards breakfast. Bowden amassed a career head coaching record of 410-141-1 and is the winningest coach in major college football. FCA President and CEO Les Steckel also gave brief remarks at the breakfast.
“Sunday’s Bobby Bowden Awards Breakfast was a celebration of student-athletes across the nation, many of whom will go on to become professional men and women, parents and community leaders,” Steckel said. “We congratulate Bryce for his stellar season, his leadership on and off the field and his academic achievements.”
Speaking to Baylor of the award, Petty said, “This is meaningful for me for two reasons. First it’s an award about Christ, and to me that’s the ultimate prize anyway – when we talk about success, it needs to be credited to the One who has enabled us to have success.
“Second, the platform we have as football players is not to be taken for granted. Too often, players think it’s just about them and get too caught up in thinking that all have the same opportunity and that’s not true. We’ve been given a great opportunity – we need to keep it in perspective – it’s not just about wins on the field, it’s as much about off the field accomplishments.”
The other two finalists for the award were:
-Mark Murphy, safety for Indiana University and an Akron, Ohio, native who started 42 of his 47 career games. He recorded 279 tackles and two interception touchdown returns in 2014 and became the third Hoosier to collect Capital One Academic All-America honors twice. This season, he also earned the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award, and was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, the AFCA Good Works Team and the Wuerffel Trophy.
-Deterrian “D.T.” Shackelford, linebacker for Ole Miss and a Decatur, Ala., native who was named to the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy for the second straight year and became the first ever two-time recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. He was also the Wuerffel Trophy winner, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain and earned Capital One Academic All-District VI honors.
The Bobby Bowden Award recognizes the Football Bowl Subdivision player who epitomizes a student-athlete. He must conduct himself as an exemplary model in the classroom, on the field, on campus and in the community.
The award, sponsored by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, was conceived by Vince Gibson, a former Bowden assistant at South Georgia College who went on to become head coach at Kansas State, Louisville and Tulane before he passed away in 2012 from Lou Gehrig’s disease; and Vernon Brinson, one of Bowden’s former players at South Georgia College in the 1950s.
Past winners of the Bobby Bowden Award have included: Jason Wright, Northwestern University (2003); Billy Bajema, Oklahoma State University (2004); D.J. Shockley, University of Georgia (2005); Carl Pendleton, University of Oklahoma (2006); Jacob Tamme, University of Kentucky (2007); Stephen McGee, Texas A&M (2008); Colt McCoy, University of Texas (2009); Christian Ponder, Florida State University (2010); Case Keenum, University of Houston (2011); Ashton Richardson, Auburn University (2012); and Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (2013).
Other 2014 nominee included:
Jed Barnett University of Oklahoma
Vic Beasley Clemson University
Chris Conley University of Georgia
Sam Carter Texas Christian University
Jeremiah Deter University of Toledo
Max Garcia University of Florida
Christian Green Florida State University
Andrew Hudson University of Washington
Joshua Lambo Texas A&M
Terrance Plummer University of Central Florida
Lee Skinner University of Buffalo
Jared Tevis University of Arizona
Brian Vogler University of Alabama
Jordan Pierce Air Force Academy
Sam Rogers Syracuse University
Jeffrey Whitaker Auburn University
Dylan Thompson University of South Carolina
Jake Waters Kansas State University