Duke receiver Blair Holliday has been nominated for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
Holliday is recovering from a traumatic brain injury sustained during a jet-ski accident last summer. The accident left him in a coma, and then pneumonia set in. Doctors did not know whether Holliday would live.
After a month at the University of North Carolina Trauma Center, he was transferred to the Sheppard Center in Atlanta, which specializes in rehabilitation of brain injuries. He had to relearn almost every physical activity, including walking and talking, but his recovery quickly accelerated. A month later, he left the Sheppard Center, though he continued the rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.
Holliday served as an honorary team captain before the Blue Devils’ game with NC Central on Sept. 15, leading them into Wallace Wade Stadiu. He plans to return to classes at Duke in January. He hopes to play football again, though if it doesn’t happen, he told The Sporting News, “I won’t be bummed.”
“I’ve come far, I can go farther,” Holliday told The Sporting News. “I realize if I’m maybe a quarter of the way there, I need to be 100 percent. Maybe I’m not the best I can be now, but I can get to that point.”
A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees for the award. The winner will be announced in December and presented with the trophy during the week of the 2013 Discover BCS national championship Game.