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Press Release

Media Contact:
Burt Trembly
The Rudy Foundation
(480) 704-1620

Record Number Of Division I Student-Athletes Nominated For 2010 College Football Rudy Awards™

LAS VEGAS, NV (December 1, 2010) - A record 55 of the 120 Division I football programs submitted nominations for the FOURTH ANNUAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARDS™, it was announced today by The Rudy Foundation 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Every Division I Conference was represented in the nominations for the Award, which honors student-athletes who demonstrate exemplary CHARACTER, COURAGE, CONTRIBUTION and COMMITMENT as members of their collegiate football teams. These same traits were immortalized in the blockbuster film "RUDY" in 27 seconds and against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, enabling Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger to carve his name into college football lore.

Rudy Award Statue

Three RUDY AWARDS™ finalists will be chosen by the Selection Committee, and through fan voting, and honored at the Priority Payment Systems Awards Ceremony to be held in conjunction with the American Football Coaches Convention on January 11, 2011, at the Hilton Anatole, in Dallas, Texas. Rudy Ruettiger will personally present the awards. Fans can view nominees and cast their votes from December 1-13 for the most deserving player at

Each finalist will be presented with a classic finalist award and have an academic scholarship made in his name to the general scholarship fund of his college or university, and have travel expenses paid to the event. An overall winner will be chosen and presented with the top scholarship and bronze RUDY AWARD trophy.

"We established this award as a special way to honor and recognize college football players for the size of their hearts instead of the enormity of their stats," said Rudy Ruettiger. "I am so excited to see how this award has grown into one of the top collegiate honors for kids who weren't born with tremendous athletic talent, perhaps, but have overcome the odds and persevered because of their heart. The fact that we again had more than 40% of the Division I football programs submitting nominations, with every conference represented, speaks volumes about the importance of CHARACTER, COURAGE, CONTRIBUTION and COMMITMENT in sports and in our society."

The nominees for the 2010 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARDS™ are:

Nominee College Coach
Chris Banjo SMU June Jones
Howard Barbieri Rutgers Greg Schiano
Gary Beemer Florida Urban Meyer
Brett Brackett Penn State Joe Paterno
Dylan Breeding Arkansas Bobby Petrino
Garrett Chisolm South Carolina Steve Spurrier
Austin Contreras UTEP Mike Price
Doug Deakin San Diego State Brady Hoke
Kyle Delahooke Navy Ken Niumatalolo
Ras-I Dowling Virginia Mike London
DeQuin Evans Kentucky Joker Phillips
Kevin Fogler Air Force Troy Calhoun
Andrew Gachkar Missouri Gary Pinkel
Emmanuel Gatling Mississippi State Dan Mullen
Sean Goldstein Miami Randy Shannon
Derek Good Colorado State University Steve Fairchild
Daniel Graff LSU Les Miles
Brett Greenwood Iowa Kirk Ferentz
Adam Harris Syracuse Doug Marrone
Alex Henery Nebraska Bo Pellini
Mark Herzlich Boston College Frank Spaziani
Michael Hodges Texas A&M Mike Sherman
Steven Johnson Kansas Turner Gill
Jeremy Kellem Middle Tennessee State Rick Stockstill
Levi Koskan Utah State Gary Andersen
Mitch Krotz Miami of Ohio Michael Haywood
Michael Lemon NC State Tom O'Brien
Dustin Lineback East Carolina Ruffin McNeill
Phillip Livas Louisiana Tech Sonny Dykes
Will Lowery Alabama Nick Saban
Jamie Lukaszewski Indiana Bill Lynch
Eddie McGee Illinois Ron Zook
Matt Merletti North Carolina Butch Davis
Bryan Morgan Duke David Cutliffe
Darius Nall Central Florida George O'Leary
Ashlyn Parker Florida International Mario Cristobal
Kevin Pool Rice David Bailiff
Jerrell Powe Ole Miss Houston Nutt
William Powell Kansas State Bill Snyder
Daniel Rees UCLA Rick Neuheisel
Nick Reveiz Tennessee Derek Dooley
Andrew Rich BYU Bronco Mendenhall
Ashton Richardson Auburn Gene Chizik
James Rodgers Oregon State Mike Riley
David Ruffer Notre Dame Brian Kelly
Phil Swanson Western Michigan Bill Cubit
Bronson Tiwanak Hawai'i Greg McMackin
Michael Wade Clemson Dabo Swinney
Jeff Wardach Virginia Tech Frank Beamer
J.J. Watt Wisconsin Bret Bielema
Ricky Weina Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald
Mark Wetterer Louisville Charlie Strong
Matt Woodlief Wake Forest Jim Grobe
Victor Yates Arizona Mike Stoops
John Yurek Connecticut Randy Edsall

The 2010 Award Selection Committee includes football coaches Barry Alvarez, David Bailiff, Gary Barnett, Fisher DeBerry, Dennis Franchione, June Jones, Chuck Knox, Gary Patterson, Buddy Pough, Jackie Sherrill and Dick Tomey, and former Washington Redskins Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams. Prominent businessman Peter Murphy, Jr., again serves as Chairman. Fan votes for the RUDY AWARDS™ also will contribute to the Selection Process. Finalists will be announced December 14 and listed on

Past Rudy Award Winners

Terry Clayton, then a senior linebacker at the University of Kentucky, who, despite losing his hearing at the age of five, persevered as a walk-on for the Kentucky football team for five seasons and twice was named to the Southeast Conference Academic Honor Roll was the recipient of the 2007 INAUGURAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

Drew Combs, then a senior kickoff specialist for Texas Christian University, who, despite being born with a left arm that ends at his elbow, made the TCU football team as a walk on and became a key weapon on special teams, was the recipient of the 2008 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

LeVon Morefield, then a junior running back at the University of Akron, overcame several obstacles early in life just to reach college, including being born addicted to crack cocaine, being arrested for selling drugs and nearly dropping out of high school. While holding down three jobs, he decided to walk on to the Akron football team, eventually earning a scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2009 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

Terry Clayton
Terry Clayton
Drew Combs
Drew Combs
LeVon Morefield
LeVon Morefield

"You're five foot nothin', a hundred and nothin', and you have nearly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you're getting a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself."

Fortune (as played by Charles S. Dutton) in the film "RUDY."

About The Rudy Foundation

Rudy Award Statue

The Rudy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and recognition of those who aspire to fulfill their dreams through character, courage, contribution and commitment. Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger and his wife Cheryl founded The Rudy Foundation in 1997. Members of the board of directors include Jerome Bettis, Ross Browner, Rick Mirer and Aaron Taylor.

Rudy Award Statue

The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement to the pinnacles of success. Today, he is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the U.S. It took years of fierce determination, yet Rudy achieved his first dream -- to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. As fans cheered RU-DY, RU-DY, he sacked the quarterback in the only play in the only game of his college football career. Rudy Ruettiger remains the only player in the school's history ever to be carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, "RUDY." Written and produced by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the critically acclaimed movie continues to inspire millions worldwide.

In addition to his motivational speaking, Rudy Ruettiger has co-authored several books, including: "Rudy's Insights for Winning in Life," "Rudy's Lessons for Young Champions," and "The Rudy In You," and has produced the Dream Power audio series. For more information visit: