Rudy award


It’s not about the Stats, it’s about the Heart!

Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger founded The College Football Rudy Awards to award-2008-drewaward-2008-drewhonor Division I football players who brought that ‘something extra’ to the team.

Rudy wanted to find the most inspirational and motivational players in America who best defined what he refers to as “The Four C’s”: Character, Courage, Contribution & Commitment.

The College Football Rudy Awards were launched in 2007. During the first year, 26 coaches nominated the ‘Rudy’ on their team. The inaugural award was presented to Terry Clayton of the University of Kentucky. A senior linebacker, Clayton lost his hearing at the age of five. He persevered as a walk on for the Kentucky football team and twice was named to the Southeast Conference Academic Honor Roll.

In 2008 the number of nominees more than doubled to 53, resulting in outstanding nominations including finalists Drew Combs (winner, pictured above), Dan Cafaro, and Nik Harris who was recently drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

Nominees will be chosen by our national selection committee consisting of such esteemed sports figures as June Junes and Chuck Knox (the Selection Committee). The selection process also incorporates a fan vote for supporters of the College Football Rudy Award (read the Awards Process FAQ).


Barry Alvarez

David Bailiff

Gary Barnett

Fisher DeBerry

Dennis Franchione

June Jones

Chuck Knox

Gary Patterson

Buddy Pough

Jackie Sherrill

Dick Tomey

Doug Williams

Peter Murphy


LeVon Morefieldlevon-morefield
University of Akron

University of Akron Zip walk-on, junior running back LeVon Morefield has been named the winner of the 2009 College Football Rudy Award.

LeVon was presented the trophy by Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger in a live ceremony held January 11th in Orlando, FL.

He was born one month premature, and addicted to crack cocaine as a result of his mother’s drug use. He has one older sibling, a brother who was also born addicted to crack cocaine. LeVon and his brother grew up together, and yet never lived in a stable home moving from home to home. Growing up with this rough background proves one of two things. It proves that you can become a product of your environment, which his brother did, and is now serving a life sentence in prison. But, it also proves that you can take the negatives of your life and turn them into a positive energy towards excelling for success.


Drew Combsdrew-combs
Texas Christian University

A congenital amputee, Texas Christian University senior kickoff specialist Drew Combs was born with a left arm that ends at his elbow. Drew recently graduated from Texas Christian University where he was a senior kickoff specialist and started every game in the 2007 and 2008 season. While playing for the Horned Frogs as a walk-on, Drew had a career high of eight touchbacks in 2008 and three career tackles. After every televised game, the TCU Athletic Department was inundated with e-mails from athletes and parents of athletes that face physical challenges. Drew was an inspiration to all of them, and personally responded to every message.

Drew wants to help others in need and uses his athletic ability to provide hope and motivation for everyone he encounters. He works with athletes with disabilities, answering questions and serving as an esteemed role model. He graduated with a degree in Marketing/Communications and is currently working in Commercial Real Estate in Houston, Texas.


Terry Claytonterry-clayton
University of Kentucky

Terry Clayton went deaf at the age of five as the result of a high fever from a severe case of chicken pox. Despite the limitation, he became an All-State player in high school out of Olmstead, KY, and made the University of Kentucky Wildcats football team as a walk-on in each of his five seasons. In 2006 he returned to the Kentucky School for the Deaf, which he attended as a child, for a program to encourage the students there to succeed and follow their dreams.

“Terry Clayton is one of the most unique and remarkable athletes I have ever coached,” said Kentucky Head Football Coach Rich Brooks, who nominated Clayton for the College Football Rudy Award. “He is a tireless worker in the weight room and on the field, and ranks among our strongest players. He has never once used his disability as an excuse and never will. He wants to be treated the same as every other player and shows tremendous dedication to our team.”


What is awarded?
The winner will have an academic scholarship awarded in his name to his university and will be presented the College Football Rudy Award by Rudy Ruettiger at the Fourth Annual College Football Rudy Awards Ceremony on January 11, 2011 in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

The two Runners-up will each receive an academic scholarship awarded in their name to their respective universities and the Runner’s Up Award.

Who is eligible?
Any Division I college football player that satisfies the following eligibility requirements may be nominated:
• Nominee can be any gender, age, or year in the university (Freshman through Senior).
• Nominee must be a player on the football team roster at some point during the 2010 season.

Does the player have to be a walk-on like Rudy was?
No, any player is eligible.

Who may nominate a player?
Only coaches may nominate a player for the College Football Rudy Awards, although we encourage the university’s Sports Information Directors and Media Directors to assist and participate in the process.

When is the deadline to submit a nomination?
Nominations are accepted beginning October 25, 2010 and will close at 5:00pm Pacific Time on November 30, 2010.

How are the Nominees evaluated?
The nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:
• The Four C’s: Character, Courage, Contribution, & Commitment both on and off the field.
• Positive impact of the nominee’s inspirational story.
• Extent to which nominee has “Dreamed Big & Never Quit!”

What is the process to select a winner?
Based on the criteria above, the Selection Committee will vote on three (3) finalists. Each selection committee member will evaluate nominees on a points system. The athlete receiving the most total points and votes will be the College Football Rudy Awards winner.

Will the public be able to vote?
The Rudy Awards selection process also incorporates a Fan Vote component. Fans are invited to vote through this website for their choice of the nation’s most inspirational Division I College football player. The Fan Voting will commence on December 1, 2010, and close at 5:00pm Pacific Time on December 13, 2010. Online fan voting is limited to one vote per day. Fan voting carries the weight of one Selection Committee member. Results will be posted on December 14, 2010.

Permissions & Rights:
By participating in this Award, nominees agree and hereby grant the Rudy Foundation permission to use, copy, modify and make available the nomination submissions to the public (with or without attribution to the nominee) for any purpose, such as, but not limited to, posting on the College Football Rudy Awards website, press and media communications and outlets, without further compensation to the Nominee. The Rudy Foundation has full discretion to post or not post any Nominee submissions on the website.

If I have a question, who do I contact?
Questions should be directed to Burt Trembly through email at or call: (505) 328-2288


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?