Minnesota fullback Jon Hoese is the weekly nominee for the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season by the Football Writers Association of America. Hoese, a senior from Glencoe, Minn., is playing this season with a heavy heart after losing his father, Terry Hoese, who suffered a stroke Aug. 26 and passed away 11 days later.
After his father's stroke, Hoese missed a day of practice, then returned to the team - a decision made with his family, believing his father would want him to play. In the Gophers' season opener at Middle Tennessee, he scored all three of Minnesota's touchdowns, caught a 23-yard pass to convert a third down and keep a drive alive, and recovered a late fourth-quarter fumble on a kickoff return to ice the victory. Given the game ball by Gophers coach Tim Brewster, Hoese gave it to his father.
Terry Hoese, who had been a fixture at games since his son made the team, died Sept. 6. He was 53. Jon missed practice that week, but returned to play that weekend against South Dakota - one day after his father's funeral - and has continued to play. Hoese, a former walk-on who was elected captain this fall, began his career as a safety and has consistently made an impact on special teams. When Minnesota transitioned to a pro-style offense, he moved to fullback and won the starting job. His primary responsibility is blocking, but he has never lost a yard carrying the football. Through five games this season, Hoese has 14 carries for 38 yards and three touchdowns and seven catches for 64 yards. He is on pace to graduate with a degree in business marketing.
For the fifth straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The recipient of the Courage Award will be announced in December and presented with the trophy in conjunction with this year's Discover Orange Bowl. 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.